Haiku

Recently, I’ve been really interested in writing haiku.

This interest started when the lovely Black Heart Magazine had a haiku contest. I wanted to enter, but I simply couldn’t justify spending $5 to submit just one haiku, especially when I was new to the art form. By the time I realized that it was $5 per haiku instead of $5 per person submitting, I’d already filled a few pages in my notebook. I was disappointed not to be able to enter, but that didn’t put a damper on my new found enthusiasm.

Haiku are perfect for me at this point in my life. I’m a graduate student in the middle of her student teaching. It’s hard to find time to work on my long-term projects. Haiku provides a quick, uncomplicated template with which I can finish something in a short period of time. While none of these haiku are masterworks, many of them are surprisingly decent. Writing them gives me an injection of that beautiful, illusory feeling–the one where I’m a real writer who actually writes things. In some ways, writing haiku may actually be a bad thing, as it distracts from what I consider to be my real work. I’m a prose person, not a poet…person.

Regardless, it’s a lot of fun. I decided to make a Twitter to showcase my experiments. It’s called Fistful of Tea, and you should follow it. So far, there’s no real theme. Here are some examples.

/ Your first steps on Skype / and your first words recorded. / Sister, I miss you. /

/ what if i just said / the word butts repeatedly / what would you do, then? /

/ Staten Island is / full of misery / and stray, inbred cats. /

/ Fuck you, new printer. / Why do you not come with a / USB cable? /

As you can see, it’s all really profound and fascinating. I’m adding new ones every day, and I may expand into other short poetry forms if I can figure out how to count to numbers other than five and seven. Check it out!

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6 comments

    • Anna Lindwasser

      The contest was great–I just figured it wasn’t smart of me to enter when I’m inexperienced with the medium and can’t tell yet which is worth sending–otherwise I’d just send them all, and that would not be good for my wallet. I’m looking forward to seeing what came out of the contest, though, and I’m really enjoying writing haiku myself! Thanks for the inspiration.

    • Anna Lindwasser

      The $5 would have been fine, but the $30+ I would have been tempted to spend if I started entering at all would have been…not so much. If I were an expert, sure, but I’m only just starting out, and there are much more talented and experienced people than myself doing this.

  1. Margarita

    I always associate Haiku with N’s first grade class – that’s when she, and I, were first introduced to this form of poetry. I let it fall by the wayside and have recently been inspired to give it another go. I, too, like that feeling of satisfaction when I’m able to finish something quickly since that gives me the impetus to start something else. Have fun with this! xoM

    • Anna Lindwasser

      That’s interesting that she was introduced to it as early as first grade! I don’t think I heard about it until middle school. I don’t remember learning it formally, but I suppose I must have picked it up somewhere. It’s the only form of poetry that I know the rules to by heart.

      It’s nice, isn’t it? I write short stories and am working on novels, and they take SO long to finish. When I’m not finishing, I don’t feel accomplished, no matter how much work I’m doing. Having a concrete thing that I can do in a few minutes is great–and you’re right, it does provide motivation to move on to the next thing.

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