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Monday, January 21, 2008

the form(s) of English-language haiku

Let me first say that the ideas here and in my books represent my opinion. It is my belief that haiku forms have a range of acceptability. It's pretty clear that, at least currently, haiku are not only the 5-7-5 syllable count in three lines (though some good ones are). Generally, a haiku represents the authors brief glimpse--one look, one moment, one sound captured in words. So, it is equivalent to one breath in length. It can be one, two or three lines. But the main thing, I believe, is that the poem takes readers into many possible meanings. Haiku get you thinking about nature and human nature. Here are some I wrote:

Father's Day
wearing his tie
again I don't measure up

another argument unfolds the futon

summer solstice
fireflies on both sides
of the jar

winter day the candle burned flat

Note how some of these give the context, which helps to understand the rest of the poems (Father's Day, winter day, summer solstice). The one-liners help enrich the words by accentuating "flatness."

So, please feel free to comment on these or, better yet, post your own poems.

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