Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Haiku - Deceptively Simple

I love haiku. I'm not great at writing them, but I admire their deceptive simplicity. On the surface, they seem easy. 3 lines, no specific rhyme, set syllables (5/7/5). But I dare you to pack something meaningful or terribly creative into those 3 lines. It's harder than it looks! (Of course, tell that to my brilliant 20-something student who rattles them off with sickening ease, lol - she wrote five in five minutes' time last week, all of them extremely good).

What's wonderful (and challenging!) about the haiku is its brevity. It forces you to say something big in a tiny, compact space. It's wonderful practice for people like me, who tend to be wordy. You're forced to trim the fat, re-think your words, make each word count. Never a bad thing.

Traditionally, haiku is nature-centric, but modern haiku can be about anything - death, love, even humor. Also, modern haiku is no longer the super-strict 5-7-5 syllable pattern. As long as it's not wayyyy outside that (like 2-28-5, lol), it's acceptable to bend those syllable rules just a bit.

So, today, I felt like attempting some haiku. It's not anything spectacular, but I wanted to share. And to encourage you to rattle off your own haiku today. If you've never tried it, your really should!

Okay, here goes.....

Where does the time go?
Seconds unaccounted for --
I-Pad, I love you.

Sitting at the desk,
Haikus are impossible.
See me try one now.

Delicate friendships
Seem to teeter on the brink --
Talking politics!

Old faces, new friends
All in one place together.
Facebook is surreal.

Perched at a canvas,
Brushstrokes filling up the days
Since her husband died.

Car, dusty yellow
Sneezes and watery eyes,
Springtime at its best.

Don't forget to breathe
Semester is soon over,
Freedom awaits! Ahhhh....


  1. Oh, I LOVE your Haikus!!!
    Ok, here's my try...

    Riviting - old age.
    Mirrors reflect a stranger,
    While inside, I'm young.

  2. This is just my speed
    Nothing like a good challenge
    Freaking love Haiku.

    I could do this all day. I think this is where, what I am convinced is adult ADD, pays off for me.

  3. Would like to try too! Here goes:
    Cooking is a joy
    Bake it, broil it, fry it up
    Recipes galore.