Thursday, April 03, 2008

Poem - Haiku

YAY! Today's poem prompt is to write a haiku.

Robert Lee Brewer's blog entry today is a wealth of info on the haiku, a poetic form I thought I knew. I don't want to steal from him, but here's the gist:

1. Haikus are 17 sounds long, not 17 syllables. Entire poem is three lines long.
2. The 5-7-5 syllable line scheme is not a hard and fast rule. Just make the first and third lines shorter than the middle.
3. Haikus do not have titles.
4. Haikus include a word to indicate a season. So "petal" might indicate spring.
5. Haikus describe nature, with an emphasis on description, not metaphor. No rhyming.

Well! It's a bit more complicated than I thought. My high school pal Chris's famous haiku comes to mind:

Little cockaroach.
Bam bam bam bam bam bam bam
I missed you each time.

There's no word to indicate a season, but in Hawaii, where Chris and I both grew up, there are no seasons. Cockroach is not spelled cockaroach and thus should be two syllables, not three. But in Hawaii, the word is pronounced cock-a-roach by locals. And maybe "missed" is two sounds, not one... miss-d.

But this haiku is genius. Let's be honest. It's hilarious and turns beautifully on that last line, as the best haikus do.

But enough stalling! To work! Prepare all month for hastily written poems...

Rain plops on green hills
Sunshine slants across wet leaves
Cars ignore rainbow

2 comments:

Michael said...

Artful Thoroughbred
Sporting an April tune that
Stirs the coined masses.


*In honor of the Santa Anita Derby.

Nina Berry said...

Love it! I feel the same way about the horse races. We do dance to that tune at the racetrack, don't we?
Thanks, Mike!