Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Writing Wednesday: Haiku

Poetry is not a genre that I am comfortable with writing. I have read much which is good (moving, funny, story-telling) and much which is rubbish. Sometimes it rhymes (and I wince at forced rhyme) and sometimes it is rhythmic prose (and I wonder why they didn't just write sentences in a paragraph or two). Usually it passes me by.

Haiku is a unique style of poetry. I was taught that it was to be 17 syllables long, three lines, in the rhythm 5-7-5. It doesn't need to rhyme and sometimes is in the form of a riddle. It originated in Japan in the 1600s but is relatively recent into the Western world (principally in the latter half of the last century). The mathematician within me likes the style for its rigidity and logic. My father has written what I consider a feat of genius: ten haiku to describe the ten ways of getting out at cricket. Even its title is a haiku!

Every day I get an email from AWAD: A Word A Day. This week it is celebrating 17 years of existence. It is giving me a 17-letter word each day to consider - although it is most difficult just to read them, deciphering the syllables and stresses within the word. They are running a competition to write a Haiku about the words this week.

It is an interesting coincidence that this competition should be run at the same time as we are watching from Japan the results of one of the worst earthquakes the world has ever experienced. The scenes are horrific and my heart goes out to all those involved there: the homeless, the rescuers, those in positions of responsibility.

Inspired by these events I have attempted a haiku myself. It does not claim to be the best but even its simple creation has helped me work through some of the events that I am witnessing via my television. Perhaps poetry can help you too?

Quake sends out rings of fear
Ocean swirls and swells and floods
Nature always wins


Sandy's witterings said...

I was going to leave a comment in the last long haired blog, then thought I'd better not - it's the start of the long slippery slope to middle aged beardiness (nuch like me).

Nice haiku though. Considering the disaster on the other side of the world it seems a good form to use.

Catharine Withenay said...

Thank you. Given my husband has a beard perhaps I'd better be careful what I say!!

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