Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Have you Ever Written A Haiku?

One of the presentations at the conference was on the subject of poetry. Elaine Holoboff, whom I had featured in one of the blog posts a few months ago, talked about various types of poetry. One of them was  haiku, which is an ancient form of poetry.

Haiku is simple, has very few words and makes a bold statement. It is normally 3 lines with 5 syllables in Line 1, 7 syllables in Line 2, and 5 syllables in Line 3Note that is syllables, not words.

Sounds easy, doesn't it? Only a few select words to construct a full poem. But I assure you, it is not a piece of cake.

 In the middle of the night after Elaine's presentation, I found myself wide awake. Way too early to get up so I tried to think of something pleasant, hoping to go back to sleep. My mind shifted from the Virginia woods where we were staying to the Flint Hills of Kansas, where I live. I could see the tallgrass prairie dotted with wildflowers in my mind's eye. Before I knew it, I thought of a rather poetic line, realized it had the right number of syllables to begin a haiku. Suddenly, all thoughts of sleep fled, and I composed the next two lines of the poem, changing it here and there until it satisfied me. I knew I'd probably never remember it in the morning, so on went the light, out came pen and paper to record the poem.

When I woke up later in the morning, the poem was there. I hadn't dreamed it. It was real! I found out that writing haiku is not only possible for a non-poet like me, but it's also a lot of fun. You might try it as a writing exercise. Google haiku to get a feel for the form and see what you come up with on your own.

Check out Elaine's haiku blog at http://www.nuhaiku1.blogspot.com/ and another posting of mine on February 26th that talks about haiku.

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