Learn how to write haiku is was one of the items on my bucket list. These little short poems just always seemed so incredibly intimidating.
Earlier this week, I Google “how to write haiku” over a cup of coffee. Here we go… Haiku is a short form of (originally) Japanese poetry. Rough translation of the poetry format to English includes 17 syllables in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5, respectively.
kiru or “cutting”, one of the signature techniques of haiku – includes a juxtaposition of two images. For example, a poet could contrast two observations at a micro and at a macro level – a drop of dew on lily flower and silence of the forest. A classic haiku often describes nature or change of seasons.
Haiku also often end with an observation. For example, you could start out by commenting on how good strawberries smell, and then end with a conclusion that summer has arrived.
Obstacle racing haiku… GO!
ice cubes feel so cold as I crawl on my belly – I love barbed wire
drop of sweat rolls down exhausted pile on the floor burpees suck so much
chafing thighs feel good I carry heavy sandbag Vermont, face to face
barbell is my friend she’s cold, and sleek in my palm so good for buttocks
how many push-ups does it take to feel self-worth? two Goruck patches
peel off your layers discover purple bruises earned orange headband
It’s actually a lot of fun to be locked into a rigid structure like that. Haiku is Sudoku with words. A problem to solve, as the phrase you have in mind does not conform to the number of syllables, you are forced to reconsider. To see the image differently. To use another word.
Writing haiku is like playing with food. Throw all the words on the table, and mix them around, squishing phrases between your fingers.
I can’t stop.
a stack of pancakes pillows and blankets messy it’s perfect Sunday
a paper cup a perfect curl of sea foam my lips part slightly
smile frozen solid across the water soaring a winter pond
Another famous one…
Another bucket list item crossed off.
My English teacher readers – please feel free to pipe up. I’ve never had to count syllables in my life, and I’m pretty sure I suck.
Wanna play? I challenge you to write a muddy haiku! Or a muscle haiku! Or hell, any haiku! (Haiku about hell?)
Signing off, Solo