Monday, September 09, 2013

Monday Poetry Stretch - Haiku

I'm quite fond of haiku, though I find it hard to write well. (Actually, I find many forms difficult to master!) When thinking of writing haiku I often return to J. Patrick Lewis' book Black Swan/White Crow, illustrated by Christopher Manson. In the introduction, Lewis describes the form and encourages readers to write their own haiku.
To write a haiku, you might go for a walk in a city park, a meadow, the zoo. Put all your senses on full alert. Watch. Listen. Imagine that what you are seeing or smelling or hearing has never been seen, smelled, or heard before--and may never be again. Now take a picture of it--but only with your words.
The best haiku make you think and wonder for a longer than it takes to say them. I've always loved that last line.
Here's one of the haiku from the book I still think about, especially when I'm at the beach.
Frantic sandpiper
high tides erasing
her footnotes

Poem ©J. Patrick Lewis. All rights reserved.

I hope you'll write some haiku with me this week. I'm thinking a lot about summer's demise and the beginning of fall, so that's where my poems seem to be going. Please share a link to your poem or the poem itself in the comments. 


  1. child stands on one foot, then
    the other, waiting for the yellow
    shape of a school bus

    days still blaze but nights
    turn cool, touching our skin
    with hints of winter

    thunderstorms of summer
    now storms of fall, practicing
    for hurling red leaves

    —Kate Coombs, 2013
    all rights reserved

    Frosted flamed billed geese
    Peck at pumpernickel bread –
    Mid-afternoon snack.

    Warbler’s golden notes
    Chip away at my slumber –
    Nature’s alarm clock.

    (C)Charles Waters 2013 all rights reserved.

  3. Written earlier in April:

    College Entrance Exam Questions, Haiku Style

    If no one can hear
    A tree falling in the woods,
    Does anyone care?

    If the chicken dies
    Crossing a busy roadway
    What about those eggs?

    If we eat those eggs,
    What happens to the question
    Of which thing comes first?

    Who is the most changed
    During the process of birth,
    The mother or child?

    Does a period
    End all of life’s sentences,
    Or just a comma?

    ©2013 Jane Yolen all rights reserved

  4. FALL

    temperatures drop
    so the leaves change colors and
    fall, fall, fall, fall, fall

    Copyright © 2013 Anastasia Suen All Rights Reserved.