Friday, August 26, 2005

My Haiku Corner is open

Current music: Groove Salad
I guess I could “blame” my online friend White Trash Poet for this. Like WTP, I wrote a lot of poetry when I was younger. Most of it was, you know, the kind of stuff that rhymes — with a little free verse and a fair amount of haiku-style poems.

We were introduced to haiku in 7th grade, in one of our English classes. I took to the form right away and started cranking out stuff. Our teachers didn't say boo about kigo, a keyword or phrase indicating season that is a traditional part of haiku, and so I happily and ignorantly cranked away. A multi-stanza haiku (which could loosely be called a renga, I suppose) I wrote at that time, a typical schoolboy's lament, was published in the student paper.

Some time in high school, I put poetry aside for other kinds of writing and non-writing activities. Since then, I might jot down a spontaneous rhyme, but what little I wrote could be classified as senryu (comic haiku). I think what attracts me to the form is the challenge of expressing a thought in 17 syllables (or less, technically), something I can hold in my head and compose without rushing to find pencil and paper. I read a few on-line discussions about haiku, and found a couple of misconceptions confusing references to weather or nature with kigo — these are often a subset of kigo, but (for example) “rain” can occur in multiple seasons in most places. And yet, that told me that there was something more to haiku than a five-seven-five syllable pattern, and I needed to find out what it was.

Back to today. Reading WTP's blog must have reamed out a couple of channels that had been clogged, because earlier this week the haiku started flowing out. The last two nights, I've had to get out of bed and write down haiku that came to mind before my Muse (capricious b**ch that she is) would let me sleep. Rather than to clutter my diary here with who knows how many haiku and senryu, I decided to open a new blog. Maintaining two blogs ought to be interesting.

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