Haiku Heaven

In a previous post, Journaling from the Heart, I recommended the haiku as a good approach to communicating an emotion or a mood for those of us who struggle with writing emotional language. Its structured form removes the ‘unnecessary’ words we often clutter up our communication with and cuts straight to the heart of the feeling we want to convey.

I received quite a bit of mail about this (although no one took up my challenge to post their efforts in the comments section. And yesterday’s DSP blog prompt put out a challenge to write a haiku. So I thought I’d provide some examples from other proponents of the haiku form to hopefully, kick start the thinking processes. And Scrapbookers, if you don’t want to write your own some of these examples might be useful for you to lift and use in your layouts.

Because a haiku ‘distills’ the words into a very concise framework it is perfect for capturing a feeling, a moment of insight or the essence of an experience. The traditional pattern of three lines set in a 5 syllable, 7 syllable, 5 syllable pattern has been modified in the English speaking world as the structure our language doesn’t lend itself to the natural rhythm of that pattern as easily as the Japanese language. The important thing is to capture the essence or intent of the subject matter with an ecomomy of words. Here are a selection of examples which I hope illustrates this.

embers die
the chair where the friend sat
fills with moonlight
Cicely Hill

their laughter…
the woods filled with white trillium
and sunshine
Betty Drevniok

across the fields of stubble
flame stalks flame
David Cobb

clouds like
thrown fire
— magnolia flowers
Asuka Nomiyama

day’s end
emptying the beach
from my shoe
Pamela Miller Ness

by firelight
listening to the silence
of things we can’t see
Larry Gross

high above the city
dawn flares
from a window-washer’s pail
Cor van den Heuvel

only the stone-smell
tells of it…
summer rain
Kenneth Tanemra

first snow
the neglected yard
now perfect
Elizabeth St Jacques

the stillness!
the voice of the cicadas
sinks into the rocks
Basho

framing the space
where once she was –
my mother’s ring
Don McLeod

little boy
discovers the world –
puddle after puddle
Bertus de Jonge

ebb tide
every footprint leaves
another moon
Marikay Eldridge

And here’s one from me:

traffic throbs around me
cocooned in my car, I smile
and turn up the music

Karooch

So are you up for it?

Give it a go and post your contributions to Haiku Heaven in the comment section of this post.

Other related posts:
Scrapbooking Tips & Techniques – Journaling from the Heart

18 Responses to Haiku Heaven

  1. andilynn April 26, 2007 at 10:45 am #

    Nice selection of haiku Karen. I didn’t procrastinate–so it might be a little rought but
    here’s mine:

    hands, scrubbed clean, reach out
    to nurse a sick child, to care
    hands that heal, I hope

  2. Karen April 26, 2007 at 10:48 am #

    Sensational Andrea. Thanks for kicking it off.

  3. Hannah April 26, 2007 at 10:59 am #

    I’d like to have a go at this – will have to be some other time though as I’m at work just taking a quick lunch break ;-)

  4. Janine April 26, 2007 at 11:37 am #

    Eeeks I didn’t give this much thought as I wrote what was in my head right now. I was taking a mind break from this assignment.

    reading, thinking, writing, erasing
    confusion around this assignment surrounds me
    slowly the fog lifts

  5. bekaboo April 26, 2007 at 12:05 pm #

    Great challenge! I’m writing off the cuff.

    Struggling to find words
    to fit the gut reaction
    that makes me take flight

  6. Karen April 26, 2007 at 1:00 pm #

    Wow. These are sensational!!!
    Great stuff ladies. And even more amazing that you came up with these pretty much off the cuff.

  7. Glynis April 26, 2007 at 10:10 pm #

    This is a really great list and the more I read this form of verse, the more I love it! Thanks for sharing … and your haiku definitely made me smile!

  8. Hannah April 27, 2007 at 10:12 am #

    I’ve done mine:

    imagination
    play, so free, no limits set
    I love to watch him

  9. quirkybitsnpieces April 27, 2007 at 11:27 am #

    wow…what a cool thing! I had never heard of it…here is my go.

    Study, work, drown
    play, breathe, smile
    she brings life

  10. Seona April 27, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    Probably not something you could use for scrapbooking, but something taking up large quantities of my mind right now:

    Time slips through
    feverish typing fingers.
    My code is still buggy!

    (I know, I know, I should get back to it and not be reading blogs…)

  11. Karen April 27, 2007 at 1:16 pm #

    the keyboard clatters
    clean code drips from the keys
    relax, it is done!

  12. fuzzynale May 1, 2007 at 3:36 am #

    Love the selection of haikus in your blog… a real inspiration! Love your own haiku as well.
    Here’s mine!

    One mummy
    Two sleeping boys
    Loves of my life

  13. Beka May 4, 2007 at 2:02 pm #

    Karen, I adore your last one. The thought of code dripping from the keys–just fabulous!!

  14. Matt May 17, 2007 at 5:08 am #

    Hit your site googling my favourite David Cobb haiku … flame stalks flame. Thanks for the others. I just love the emotional hit haiku conjures up! They’re also the only poems I can remember. Maybe its got something to do with the length!

    how ’bout this one

    shrill request answered
    silence breathes silence

    bit dark but guess that’s what comes of working late at the office! :]

  15. Karen May 17, 2007 at 7:50 am #

    Love it Matt. Thanks a lot for adding your contribution

    And Beka, thaks for the complement.

  16. HaikuForYou August 3, 2007 at 1:10 am #

    If you’re looking for more haiku, check out Haiku for You, a new collaborative online part project:

    http://ourstereo.com/haikuforyou/

    We’re looking for your ideas!

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