Poems and Haiku
I always say "Haiku chose me, I didn't choose haiku." I freeze like a deer in headlights when anyone asks me to write a haiku on the spot. I post my haiku to Twitter at @haikuoftheday
What is haiku of the day?
While recovering from being hospitalized for an illness last year, I began sharing haiku with my friend and mentor Tom Davenport and my friend and photographer Fritz Kirsch daily. I called this 'haiku of the day' and we enjoyed it so much I continued with it until recently deciding to use Twitter to share haiku instead of email. The exchange prompted haiku by my friends, so I will include some of theirs on occasion too. I thought others might enjoy them through Twitter on their cell phone or through the various ways on gets Twitter messages. The format of Twitter is ideal for haiku.
There are two styles for writing haiku in English. The first style attempts to create complete English sentences with punctuation. The second style allows the ambiguity present in the way haiku is written in Japanese to come through in English, foregoing capitalization and puncuation. For example: "A cicada song / in the leaves; between the roots / live generations." Or: "a cicada song / in the leaves between the roots / generations" I prefer the second style.
I am not a purist and believe haiku as it is practiced in the West is an evolving form of poetry based on essential principles of concreteness, observation and expression of intense experience. It does not need to conform to 5-7-5 syllables (Basho admonished against syllable counting), but must conform to the spirit of haiku and its honest evolutionary forms.
I am not a haiku expert. I write in the style and form of my choosing. I follow the haiku way as I see it.
I tried writing metrical poetry with rhyme, but gave up in frustration. Even after reading and studying poetic meter, I just didn't have the ear for it, and it interfered with my poetry, so I gave up and started writing free verse. I am more comfortable with haiku, but once and a while I find myself writing a poem.