Haiku is a style of poetry born in the 17th century from Japanese culture. These simple and direct poems were a rebellious response to traditionally elaborate poetry but was not given its name until the 19th century.
Today, haiku continues to fascinate and edify its listeners with its simple and intense style now donned by poets of many languages. I was introduced to haiku at the 2014 Ostukimi Moon Viewing Festival at Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, TX. Poets from all over the nation read straight-forward but titillating and thought-provoking poetry to a lawn spread audience under the luminous moon and I have fallen in love with haiku ever since.
In this article, I will discuss what makes a poem haiku, why I am inspired by this poetic style, and I will share a haiku poem that I recently submitted to the Little Infinite - Poetry for Life: Haiku Poetry Contest. Be sure to vote for me!
HAIKU IS POETRY, POETRY ISN'T HAIKU
All haiku is poetry, but all poetry isn't haiku. For a poem to be considered haiku it needs to meet specific requirements. The rules of haiku are as follows:
The poem must consist of only 3 lines.
The poem must have 5 phonetic syllables in the first line.
The poem must have 7 phonetic syllables in the second line.
The poem must have 5 phonetic syllables in the third line.
The poem should have a nature or seasonal undertone.
The poem should not rhyme.
The poem should incite epiphanic thoughts in the reader/hearer.
I HEART HAIKU
Why did I fall in love with Haiku? It's easy to fall in love with just about anything or anyone under the light of the moon. The ambiance of moonlight that faithful night in Dallas, TX, wasn't the only thing that won my heart though. Haiku, by nature, is simple but intense. With only a few words, a poet can express the deepest of sentiments and ideas. This delivery helps the words sink into the heart and mind in ways that elaborate poetry just cannot.
Imagine elaborate poetry being the flattery of an attractive suitor. The blandishments may bounce around your nerves, create butterflies in your stomach, and force a smile on your face; how this so easily fades. Now think of haiku being the intense and simple language of the love of your life. The words penetrate your heart and cause a pain that you can't dream of living without. Tears of joy fill your eyes, and a hopeful desperation removes the air from your lungs. This is haiku and this is why I love haiku.
READING SUGGESTIONS ON HAIKU
In an attempt to continue my battle with imposter syndrome, I have decided to jump on every opportunity that presents itself to write and to share my work with others. Recently, I submitted a poem to a haiku poetry contest by Little Infinite - Poetry for Life. Please take a couple of minutes to read or view my poem and vote for my poem via the link below!
You Stole Summer's Sun
Guilty Skin as Black as Coal:
This Is Your Offense
My poem's title is a kenning of the term "black people". I used wording that would evoke feelings of the season of summer (solstice, summer, sun, coal) but the undertone of the poem is about racial stigma against black people and how their black skin is usually the real offense behind the preposterous accusations they receive.
Did you like it? Please vote for me to win the contest! If clicking 'vote for me' does not take you to the voting page, then copy and paste this URL directly into your browser: https://woobox.com/znix8p/gallery/WcERw-tA_iU
Share your favorite haiku in the comments below!