Haiku


Have you ever tried Haiku?

No,no-  it’s not a type of Sushi!

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese word art originating in Zen philosophy. As I’ve been surfing other poetry blogs, I’ve been inspired to return to this form of word art.

Japanese Haiku poets follow strict rules in constructing their Haiku. In English there is greater flexibility in the approach and the rules alter slightly. I’ve never been one for formula – I usually get mind-numbing flashbacks to high school trigonometry at the mention of the word! But there’s something appealingly challenging about expressing a concept or observation succinctly- in a maximum of 17 syllables…

In Haiku, the idea is to write a poem of 3 lines, with the first, second and third line containing 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively. The poem is whole, independent and complete in its communication. Another feature is to create a “cut” in the words through punctuation or meaning. Traditionally, Haiku was written about Nature or contained a seasonal concept. The effect is often tranquil but powerful. Even today, the season of the piece is alluded to subtly.

It is simplicity in poetry.

It is minimalist.

It is beautiful.

“cozy winter evening:

fond family feeding

on news, warmth and love”

That’s my Haiku for tonight, with my sister over for supper, and a hearty catching up around our crackling  fire.

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