Sunday, April 29, 2012

Can You Haiku?

Every now and then, I get the urge to create something poetic.

Sometimes I gulp two Ibuprofen and take a nap until the feeling passes. Other times, I craft haiku for fun.

Remember haiku? It’s a type of traditional Japanese poetry that you probably learned about way back in the fourth grade. Ahhh… it’s all coming back to you now… your desk in the front row, Jimmy Johnson sitting behind you pulling your pigtails, and you leaning back and thwacking him… Hello? Hello? We were talking about haiku, remember? (You really should see your therapist about that grudge against Jimmy! J)

As I was saying, if you have an excellent memory, you’ll recall that haiku consists of three lines – 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, and 5 in the last. It doesn’t have to rhyme; in fact, most haiku poems don't rhyme. Another characteristic that most haiku poems share is theme: nature, animals or seasons are almost always the subjects of these micro poems.

Sometimes a snapshot or a trip outside can inspire a plethora of haikus. Here’s one I wrote after snapping the photo above:

Round barn circles fields
Bursting wide with April greens –
Earth springs back to life.

And if you or your kids are inspired by haiku writing, be sure to check out Dogku by popular children’s author Andrew Clements. This shaggy dog story told in haiku is sure to tickle your funny bone and encourage even more haiku creations.

Tomorrow (April 30) is the last day to celebrate National Poetry Month! Why not take a few minutes to create a haiku or two? You may be a poet and not even know it! (Sorry, I couldn’t resist!) J

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