Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Haiku

You know, I don't think any poetic form gets as much of a bum rap as does the lowly haiku. But I discovered this week that writing a passably decent one is actually a lot harder than you would think.

Everyone knows the basic structure of a haiku--three lines with a 5-7-5 syllable structure. However, did you know that, strictly speaking, a haiku should focus on a scene in nature? And that it should have some kind of seasonal reference?

The haiku has several close relatives on the poetry family tree--stay tuned, because those are on the agenda for the next several weeks. Here's today's poem, which I've titled "Sheep in a Snowfall."

You think it hides you.
But that white coat you wear now
Warms me next winter.

2 Comments:

Blogger Thea said...

I like it. First I thought you were coveting a fellow humans coat, THEN I read the title. Very good!

8:48 AM  
Blogger Sarah said...

I love haiku -- and I agree, it's very difficult to write one (though easier when your professor points out that the 5-7-5 syllable construction is the least important of the constraints.) One of my favorites is by Basho --

"Even in Kyoto --
hearing the cuckoo's cry --
I long for Kyoto."

1:01 PM  

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