Thursday, September 10, 2009

Some Haiku

I don't know why in particular I've become interested in haiku, but I have. I post them from time to time on Twitter, but it occurs to me that they're likely being lost in the flood of 140-character posts, so I'm assembling them in one place, and may do so every few months if I produce them at a sufficient rate. These were all written this summer, and are in chronological order:

Summer sky beckons/An empty desk behind me/It's time for dinner

Shit-stained sidewalk/Ambulating down the hill/Cars pass on my left

Banana carcass/Its purpose perfectly served/Lies and stares at me

A "frappelatte"/An airport's quiet hours/And a slow-paced walk

Constant dull humming/With a book and a window/Sound of returning

In addition to the 5-7-5 structure, there are a few rules I tend to apply to haiku. First, they should describe a particular moment. Second, you should not only have 17 syllables, but really respect what it means for them to be different lines. That is, I don't think it passes to take a 17-syllable sentence and present it as haiku. In that case the haiku structure is nothing more than an inside joke, whereas if you respect the structure and what the limitations mean, they can force things out of you that you didn't expect.

No comments: