Do You Hate Haiku?

Jim Murdoch from The Truth About Lies wrote, a while back, probably the most well-informed, interesting essay about haiku ever written by someone who self-confessedly hates haiku. You should go read it. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

For those of you who are going, “Eh, who has the time,” I’ll humor you and tell you about it. There is a lot of great stuff in there — haiku-like utterances by Allen Ginsberg and Jack Kerouac, quite clear explanations of the difference between syllables and morae and the concept of the kigo, a comparison of several different translations of a Shiki haiku, a discussion of whether haiku written in Scots are closer to the spirit of Japanese haiku than those written in English, an in-depth discussion of a haiku-like poem of his own and whether it is or could ever be a haiku … you get the idea. Did I mention that he hates haiku?

So why? Why does he have such strong negative feelings about something he has obviously studied in such depth and thought about so much?

The answer seems to be that (like everyone else in the world) he isn’t really sure exactly what an English haiku is. It makes him uncomfortable:

“There are modern poets who say unless your poem has this ‘Aha! Moment’ you’re not writing haiku. Others emphasise the experience. And, of course, there will be those who say that as long as your poem has three lines containing 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively then it’s a haiku. … This is why I hate haiku. It has moved so far away from its roots that a good haiku is more a matter of fluke than anything else … This is not to suggest that short poems cannot be excellent but they’re just not haiku.”

He does admit that perhaps, since he hasn’t actually written any, it might be premature for him to come down so firmly in the anti-haiku camp. But clearly, that lack of consensus on a definition really, really bugs him:

“In all honesty I can’t say, ‘I hate haiku,’ because Haiku’s response would be, ‘But, you don’t know me,’ and that’s why I hate it, it won’t stay still long enough to be known. Maybe once back in the day the Japanese might have come up with a short list but somehow I think the argument about what a haiku can or cannot be has raged since Masaoka Shiki coined the expression at the end of the 19th century.”

And then we really get down to brass tacks — the haiku just isn’t a form that suits the way he thinks or writes:

“I think there’s a lot newbie poets can learn from working with a short form like the haiku. Whether what they produce is haiku is neither here nor there. I’ve never deliberately avoided writing them perhaps because I’ve always written in a condensed way. I think the problem is that they’re just a tad too short for the thoughts I want to express and that’s all.”

All right, the faint whiff of condescension drifting from this aside … this is a perfectly reasonable way to feel. It’s fine not to want to write haiku. Most people don’t want to write haiku. Quite often, I don’t want to write haiku. (Can I go to bed now?) But still … I have a hard time believing that anyone who has delved so deeply into the history and structure of the haiku form really, truly hates it …

How about you? Do you hate haiku? Do you write it anyway? Why or why not? Defend your position.

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25 thoughts on “Do You Hate Haiku?

  1. Very interesting. Initially, after reading your synopsis, I thought the author was getting mildly bound up worrying about not being able to define haiku and therefore not knowing what to do with the poetry we call haiku. My thought was, “Well, who cares? The poetry will build a body and categorize itself. It is what it is and if everyone calls it haiku, then it’s haiku. If not, it might eventually be known as something else.”

    But, after reading the article myself, I get the sense he’s more exasperated by the myriad rules and the hand wringing and the overwrought seriousness surrounding what seems to be such a simple (not complex) thing. I kind of agree with that. I can live with the ambiguity of not knowing whether what I write is *really* haiku. As I said, it is what it is and it follows reasonably consistent patterns. I get tense, though, at the thought of being told “REAL haiku can only be x y z.” I don’t want to be seen as a klutzy brute, boorishly besmirching haiku while I think I’m doing something pretty and nice! I think, I hope, there’s more room for consensus.

    I wonder if some of the hand wringing and finger waving might stem from differences in approach between the east and west. I’d say we (in the west) don’t have as great an appreciation for exacting ritual as the Japanese do. Instead, we tend towards blind adherence to rules. We like and want the rules but we tend to miss the grace of careful ritual.

    Um, Anyhow. I don’t hate haiku (or whatever it may be). I like the brevity, the conciseness. I like how the whole poem can fit at once in my mind, like a butterscotch candy in my mouth, clacking against my teeth as I work and savor it.

    • That’s an amazing point about how Westerners are more into rules than rituals. I have watched my son in various Japanese martial arts classes for nine years now, going through elaborate rituals that are so centering and calming for him … and this is a kid who really hates rules and requirements, especially ones that seem to him pointless and arbitrary. (School? No, that didn’t work out too well. πŸ™‚ ) But he is completely willing to submit to the ceremony and structure of martial arts, which I never, ever would have predicted beforehand — and now I think I might understand why. It’s not about rules, it’s about ritual.

      I also will be cutting and pasting that butterscotch candy line somewhere where I can read it at frequent intervals. πŸ™‚ Good stuff. (Both the butterscotch and the writing.)

  2. angie says:

    I admit — I’m one who said “eh, who has the time” so i didn’t read the article. just going on my own experience, I feel like it’s like that old shakespeare thing — the lady doth protest too much. I see a lot of people in these internets that say they hate haiku, often quite condescendingly so, but I usually get the feeling it’s because they for some reason or another can’t/won’t just write one. I don’t feel like I’m a haiku poet by any stretch of the imagination, but to me a haiku is an observation. a distillation of a moment, something that can be said in one breath. and I think worrying about how many syllables or whos-its or what-its takes away from the very essence of the thing.

    whatever that thing may be.

    • Yeah, but like Steve said, a lot of people do get really worked up about syllables and structure and so on and that can be really off-putting to people who just want to write a poem and not get yelled at for doing it wrong. So I can see how that would be kind of distressing to someone. I guess like you and Steve it doesn’t really bother me because I don’t care whether any given person agrees that what I write are haiku (I don’t know myself sometimes), I’m just using the information I’ve gathered about this poetic form to do some work that I find interesting. And I also just find the debates fascinating rather than nerve-wracking. But I like to argue. πŸ™‚

  3. I’ve begun to suspect that what I write are not haiku or senryu, but ku: a kind of short English-language poem derived from, but not identical to, the haiku (and senryu) of Japanese tradition. I’ve long believed, and have stated in other forums, that our “haiku” do not have kigo, which are much more complicated than season words (which, of course, we have in abundance). The word “ku” is, of course, the short form of “haiku.” I avoided it for a long time, feeling it was somehow disrespectful to the form. Then I found myself using it on the many occasions when it wasn’t clear whether a poem in English was better understood as haiku or senryu; rather than commit myself, I’d resort to “ku” as a weasel word. Now, though, I begin to think we need a different term for what we are doing, and “ku” may be the word we need. We don’t need to define it yet (let the practice of poets show us what it may mean), beyond extending it to any short poem that is demonstrably inspired by Japanese models in form, content, or both. And, yes, that could mean that many of the poems we have derisively dismissed as pseudo-haiku are authentic ku. Not necessarily good ku, but ku.

    • Bill, have you seen the explanation that Scott Metz has at lakes and now wolves for why he calls his poems ku? He says much the same thing you say. Jane also calls haiku/senryu ku much of the time and yes, I have been adopting the same habit lately. It has the advantage of reducing anything you write about haiku by one syllable πŸ™‚ and also, as you say, of rendering moot any argument about whether we in English are writing “real” haiku. It may be a word whose time has come …

      • i started using the word – ku, because
        – 1) it was acceptable to Jane.

        and more to my thinking:
        – 2) it eliminated the dilemma over using – a – or – an in front of the word.

        bwahahahaha – hey, that’s a rule. that – a – or – an, stuff. heck if i know it tho. i think we in the usa in particular are taught to follow rules. or THE rules. laws. etc. be a good citizen. whether we do or dont, are or are not. we get so caught up in it we can stop our car at a stop sign when we can see for a mile in every direction that there are no other cars, people or creatures in sight. …okay. not always. and some times we do and sometimes we dont. and sometimes… may be there is a reason in the ritual of stopping?. …i mean… pattern… okay, okay. i think about it. safety in the repetitive action? …just in case…?

        the thing is – rules – in ku, are not the same kind of rules as rules in a classroom, or may be rules in life, or rules from the government… they are more like – after the fact, what was done rules. that’s how it seems to me at least… and then see if you can do the same thing. …they are that kind of thought. but only if/when it was done it worked… or someone thought it worked.

        the bottom line for me is still, read what i can about haiku. read haiku. and ku. think about it. then forget it when i write my own and just write.

        there is no wrong way to ku. ..or haiku. …unless you want it to be wrong (imo again).

        do it your way or no way. that’s what i’m doing. and if i want to break my own rules (that I’ve made up or have taken from some where) – that are important to me – fine on that. i’ve noticed if i say i do or dont do something with my haiku… then the next time i write… i do the opposite anyway. am i pushing the limits? heck no. i’m just being me. …unless i actually pushed the limits. …then… heck, yeah. i meant to do that.

        what’s the point of having a rule for haiku if we dont test and push it, bend and break it?

        do i hate haiku – or ku – ? heck no. that’s a silly thing to spend hate on. heck. that’s a silly thing to build up hate to spend. just like all hate.

        i’m just going to do my ku. let someone else worry about whether it is ku or haiku or poetry or english. F*** there i go with my opinion again. heck. i shouldnt even be playing with real haiku poets anyway. bwahahahahaha.

        fun.

        that’s it.

        ku-me your ku
        splatter a moment in mud
        across a red dragon
        fly.

        …18 syllables
        … 4 lines.
        …punctuation
        …bah.

        ku-me your ku
        across a red dragonfly
        splattering mud

        fling on.

        (p.s. i tried to post this earlier. my server is being picky about what i can and can not do – over the last few days – may be it’s a rule? may be i broke a rule? …so i saved it and i’m trying to post it now. i’m saying this… so that… just in case it posts funny, you’ll know why. …which i probably dont have to do. …because it’s probably not a rule.)

        • shalom Wrick. πŸ™‚

          Hmmm…never occurred to me to use anything but “a” before “haiku.” For me with “h” words it’s about the sound — does it sound better to say “a haiku” or “an haiku”? Unless you are Cockney and you are dropping the “h” anyway it seems like “a haiku” works a lot better. I do always say “an historical moment,” though. (But “a history.” Because there the first syllable is stressed, you see, so … oh, never mind. πŸ™‚ )

          Rules, rules, rules. It may surprise you to learn that I am one of those people who would never dream of not stopping at a stop sign just because there was obviously no other car within miles. I like rules that are about safety, and kindness, and fairness. I like rules that keep civilization from falling apart and all of us from killing each other. (I read Hobbes at an impressionable age.) All other rules, though? I can’t imagine why people get so worked up about them. People really, really like to imagine that things are rules when they are just customs, or recommendations, or the half-assed ranting of some self-proclaimed expert.

          I do see the point of having, say, rules for games — at least ones that everyone playing in a particular game session agree on, but there again, that’s about fairness. I also see the point of having “rules” for literary forms, at least for convenience, just so that everyone knows they’re talking about the same thing when they talk about it — like, say, that sonnets should have 14 lines and should rhyme, at least vaguely, in one of a couple of different ways — but people are doing a lot to stretch the boundaries of sonnets these days too. The thing about haiku is that, as Jane points out, there are SO MANY different rules and every little haiku-writing subgroup has their own sacred subset of them … so really, writing haiku ends up being about figuring out what kind of haiku appeal to you and learning the rules of that type and then figuring out whether all of them make sense to you or would you rather substitute some other rule for rule #6 or just make up your own damn rule, because everyone else does, so what the hell. For me, this is fun. For some other people, it causes intense anxiety and frustration and perhaps even hatred. πŸ™‚

          and I LOVE both your ku here, despite the mud I am now splattered with. πŸ™‚ I am almost tempted to put the second one up as a second epigraph to the site. πŸ™‚ I’ll think about it. But it will definitely have a place of honor in Rick Daddario’s Leavings.

          shalom,
          Melissa

          • wow shalom aloha Melissa.

            …Melissa is that like Mel+Issa? no wonder you like issa. you’re related. i think there is a spanish word for the special relationship between two people who have the same name. …i just dont know how to spell it. tokaya?

            oh. on the wow of above – that sound in front of an H word. that makes a lot of sense. is that a new rule? or just a good one? i’m going to keep that one now. …altho i’m still going with ku too. oh. never mind. sorry. i forgot. bwahahaha – silliness abounds.

            i’m not sure which would surprise me more Melissa – that you do stop or dont stop on that stop sign issue. now that you’ve admitted that you stop… okay okay. i stop too. i just Think – wtf am i doing? i can see there are no police officers around. okay, i dont really think that. i’m usually just amused by my own actions, knowing i’ll continue them anyway. and yeah. safety and playing on the same page – okay good points for rules. i dont like rules that are made to make me appear nice tho. “you have to smile when you work here, are you a good smiler” – yeah. unless i’m told i have to smile on penalty of being written up. cited for not smiling. sheesh officer really it just slipped off for a moment and the dog ate it. …so in that case its’ quite possible that my smile really means i’m having fun thinking about what i’d like to do with this smiling rule – with a grin of course. …only i dont tell anyone because then i’d get written up twice. society and our cultural rules. fun. funny. just be nice. it’s not difficult. smiling isnt difficult. altho it’s easier if i practice. wow. yeah. off topic. sheesh. oops. Please dont write me up.

            yeah. i like thinking. so it’s fun for me too. and you definitely make me think.

            …i’m not so sure about the ku i left here tho. i wondered if they were going to spatter you. …but then… you’re MLA and Melissa – Issa’s cousin. altho i admit i have been tempted to refer to you as Red Dragonfly. have you come to save us wandering-off-the-mark haiku poets red dragonfly? the truth is i didnt place these ku in my files to keep them. …hmmm… may be i should have… 200 years from now a nano-blogger might decide to use it on their blog… actually i think the mud missed the red dragonfly in both of those ku. well. one ku and one bah-ku.

            i dont think it’s possible to keep all the rules of haiku – or break all the rules of haiku – in One haiku. i suspect it’s fun to set out trying to scrunch a few tho. or take a few to the point of absurdity may be. …okay okay, may be not.

            another thing that i think is fun sometimes… playing by this rule: Write a bad haiku.

            yeah. try it. try writing a bad ku. or try intentionally breaking one rule. or two. sometimes those ku are so juicy… oh. never mind. splat. another bug between my teeth, entering my skull…

            carving the damp soil
            taking away the spatter
            yellow mud dauber

            oh crap. a 5-7-5

            the damp earth
            a yellow mud dauber
            builds her shelter

            returning spotless
            through the rainbow
            red dragonfly

            there. all clean again.

            • Wrick — g’day mate. πŸ™‚

              Yes, my name is actually Mel Issa — Issa was my great-great-great-great-great granduncle and bequeathed to me the flea-infested shack in which he wrote most of his great haiku. I moved it to the Midwest and disguised it as a sixties ranch and late at night I take to the walls with a pickaxe hoping that Uncle Iss also left behind some of his talent somewhere (or failing that some kind of 200-year-old Japanese artifact that I can sell for enough money to fund my haiku-writing lifestyle) — but so far no luck.

              [Another side note about my name: it means “honeybee” in Greek. No, I’m not kidding this time. So I get to write whatever I want about them. (Us?) ]

              Yeah, the whole point of the word “an” (and it amazes me how many people don’t know this) is just to make it easier to pronounce the definite article before a vowel sound. “A apple” is really hard to say (or at least sounds really awkward), “an apple” is not. So it’s not so much a “rule” (use the word “an” before a word beginning with a vowel or else!) as a tool to make your life easier. I guess the thing with “h” confuses people because some people use “an” before some “h” words sometimes, so people try to figure out what the “rule” about that is, but again, the only “rule” is: what sounds better and is easier for you to say? That’s the kind of rule I can deal with. πŸ™‚

              My entire life I have felt literally murderous toward people who tell me to smile or suggest I should be smiling more or ask me why I’m not smiling. It’s really the worst kind of emotional tyranny — Feel the way I want you to feel (and display your feelings in the way I want you to display them!). My usual response is to growl and try to bite them. Okay, not really. My usual response is to stare at them coldly and never have anything more to do with them if I can possibly help it. Fortunately I have never had a boss say this to me so I have never actually gotten fired.

              Yeah I wrote a whole post about writing bad haiku, which was very cathartic. I may have to do another cycle of those. But I’m not feeling as oppressed by rules and definitions lately so not feeling as much need to rebel. Still, they can be fun.

              Isn’t it funny how you somehow feel like you’ve done something wrong if you inadvertently write a 5-7-5 — like maybe people will think you’re too ignorant to know that haiku don’t have to be written that way. It just seems not “cool” somehow. Also — it is kind of true that those odd syllables don’t usually flow as well in English.

              Have you ever played around with the concept of counting stresses in haiku lines rather than syllables? Some people are into that. I haven’t really investigated it yet. It sounds very English-language somehow, like we are back in high school learning about iambic pentameter again. But I guess that is the language we’re actually writing in. πŸ™‚

              I’m glad you found a way to get the mud off. πŸ™‚ Maybe I should write some red dragonfly ku. It seems kind of odd that I haven’t yet. But they are not all that common around here — though my husband got some great shots of them a few years ago, including the one on the blog — so I would basically be making the whole thing up. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. πŸ™‚

              Okay, I think I need to go write some actual haiku now. Enough procrastinating with comments …

              adios,
              Melissa

              • I meant the indefinite article, of course. I’m sure you were all standing around laughing and pointing at me when you read that.

                  • aloha Melissa – et. al.

                    hahahahaahahaaaachu. you were just trying to make me feel normal. i know.

                    …wait. an indefinite article… that’s like… a piece of cloth that might or might not be clothing, right? where as a definite article would be something you were sure was a shirt. …or something like that, yes?

                    yeah. i thought Mel meant honey. i didnt know issa was bee tho. of course… well… no relation to lemon balm then? melissa officinalis or melissa leaves…?? yeah. i think you can write what you want to write. that’s the way my keyboard works any way.

                    yeah, again, you’re right, if i end up with a 5-7-5 i figure i must have done something odd. …altho there are plenty of great 5-7-5 haiku. for me i find (at least mine) dont usually flow as well (i think that’s what you’re saying too). as if they arent quite natural in some way – even when each phrase seems like it is. i do like just seeing if i can say (out loud or in my skull either way) what i’ve written in my every day common kind of talk way. …which isnt necessarily how i write of course. i think things like that are personal. it seems most likely that all the things we think are important to our haiku are just the things we’ve taken as important for our way of ku-ing – either on our own or after reading/hearing about it some place. which is cool when i think about it. …and of course if that is true then we are probably all going to be playing with a slightly different set of what’s important. okay. cool on that too.

                    i’ve read about “counting stresses” (in haiku) – i think i hear in my head in too many odd ways to make this easy tho. yeah. i can mispronounce almost any word. i can even hear 3 syllables (okay, sounds) in a one syllable word. which i figure accounts for some of my spelling difficulties. clearly the word – the – has the th sound plus the e sound which sounds like the u in the word – nut. so how come i once wanted to know is it only one syllable? the teacher didnt like my question. i got a “because it is” answer. which puzzled me. but i knew i was supposed to stop asking. so i did. i’ve learned to just read poetry. and let the cadence find me (hopefully). because if i try to find it – i will be chasing the the ocean current. there are writings tho that really hit me with their rhythm. or meter. or stresses – is that right? – Haiawatha being one i like reading and listening to. or even Rubaiyat Of Omar Khayyam (translated of course).

                    i’m not sure
                    how i’d do
                    trying it
                    in haiku.

                    heck if i know. might be fun tho. …of course i’m sure i can do much better. …or worse, may be. …writing bad haiku. ..if i’m careful.

                    yeah. no mud for you. but i’m still going to make mud pies with worms in them and splat sometimes too. i like mud daubers. of course i like red dragonflies too. and blue. that is a great photo your husband took btw. that would be fun to play with. . . well. may be not. those wings are so delicate and transparent… the photo as is, might just be about the best way to get at that dragonfly… cool on his photograph. cool on his photography

                    yeah. red dragonfly ku. i like that thought.

                    wet ink
                    on her shoulder
                    red dragonfly

                    • konichiwa Wrick,

                      We’re starting to get pretty narrow again here, I am really eager to find out if you do actually get down to one word or maybe even one letter and then what happens after that?

                      I think the “melissa” in “melissa officinalis” has to do with bees — well obviously it must — I think one of the common English names is Bee balm or something.

                      A shirt. (Could be any shirt. It’s not definite). The shirt. (It’s a particular shirt. Definitely).

                      It’s funny how syllables kind of elude some people — what’s interesting is that when you’re talking about your confusion about how many syllables are in “the” I am wondering if what you are hearing are morae (I don’t actually know, I don’t really understand morae myself) — maybe some people think more naturally in syllables and some in morae — I mean in a way morae are a more subtle, refined way of separating out the sounds in words so you could just say you are more sensitive than the rest of us and that’s why it’s harder for you to count syllables. πŸ™‚ Yeah, go with that. πŸ™‚

                      We are big Shakespeare fans around here — watching, performing — and hundreds of hours a year, probably, between the three of us, go into memorizing blank verse — so we spend a lot of time sounding out the stresses in iambic pentameter (it helps a lot in memorizing). We’ll be wandering around muttering under our breath, “LIFE’S but a WALKing SHAdow, a POOR PLAYer, that STRUTS and FRETS his HOUR uPON the STAGE” (and from this of course you can see how Shakespeare violated the rules about how iambic pentameter is supposed to work all the time, to suit the meaning of the verse and the feeling he wanted to convey with the drama). So I get stresses, but somehow haiku don’t seem very stress-y to me. There are definitely ways to arrange the words that sound better than others, but I don’t think I would want to get into counting stresses to figure out what those would be. In any case it seems like there would be a wide variety of possible stress patterns that would sound OK. Maybe I should go back and count the stresses in my ku to confirm that this is the case. But I have one or two other things I’m more interested in doing at the moment. πŸ™‚

                      I will pass on your photography compliment to my husband. He likes to go on these epic twelve-mile hikes in the arboretum here on Sunday afternoons and take pictures of everything he sees, which is quite often really interesting stuff because in many (OK most) ways he is better at seeing than I am, he just uses a different medium to do it. This is why I so often use his photography as inspiration for my ku. πŸ™‚ I wish it reproduced better on the blog.

                      Wet ink. Yeah. I still love ink. And pencils and paper. The computer is so seductive … I often find my ku are better though if I take pencil and paper and sit somewhere where I can get half in a trance and then start writing.

                      sketching
                      in the air
                      red dragonfly

                      (I keep noticing that I like to make my middle lines shorter than the other two — that’s symmetrical too, you know. πŸ™‚ )

                      sayonara.
                      Mel Issa

                    • aloha Melissa – looks like it bounced back wide again. so that must be the answer about how many replies until it narrows to one letter…

                      yeah, i dont know enough about on or morae – or even english to tell about what i’m hearing. i do think people who call themselves artists are often sensitives. on one side that’s good – as you say to notice and explore subtleties and on the other side it can be hard emotionally.

                      memorizing was always hard for me. altho i can do it sometimes. music helps. but i have to like the music.

                      yeah. i’ll pass for now on stress units and haiku too. i’m juggling more than i can keep in the air as is…

                      yeah, symmetry is one thing, balance is another. both have a place. no worries. do it your way.

                      crickets tonight
                      the passing rain clouds
                      have left music

  4. Hi Melissa!

    Just wanted to say thanks for the post – I’d stumbled across the ‘hate haiku’ article somewhere else, some months ago and I agree – it’s well-reasoned and I enjoyed the read, but it made me think the writer was a little intimidated by the wealth of ‘rules’ and general disagreement, or perhaps too timid to step out and go with something?

    By which I mean, some people persist with the 5-7-5 structure when writing English ku, but at least they’ve looked around and said ‘ok – this is what I think haiku is, and that’s how I’ll play it.’

    Which is how I try and operate with haiku – read widely, try and understand as much as possible, then make choices and work with haiku as bets you can from there.

    Actually, participating in renku has taught me a lot about haiku!

    Ashley

    • Hi Ashley —
      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I am especially excited you did because following the link to your blog led me to “Issa’s Snail,” which has such wonderful, exciting work on it. I am totally fascinated by renga/renku and in fact I am in the midst of collaborating on my first renga (summer kasen, using Jane’s form) with another poet new to the form — we definitely still have a lot to learn, but it is very exciting to be creating poetry with someone else — that give and take of minds is something so different from the usual solitary process of poetry-writing. When I have more of a clue what I’m doing I’d love to join you over there. (And I agree, I have definitely learned more about writing haiku from the links and shifts of renga.)

      Haiku is so interesting to me because it seems like some people use it to narrow their options — they want to make and observe as many rules as possible and keep to the same pattern and set of ideas all their lives — and some people use it to widen their options — they see it as a jumping-off place for a whole host of poetic activities, different kinds of haiku, linked verse, sequences, haibun, haiga, etc. etc. Even novels, as I mentioned a few posts ago! For me it’s a way to paradoxically focus on one thing, which keeps me from being overwhelmed by choices, while still exploring a vast array of variation, which keeps me from being bored. πŸ™‚

      Once again, glad you stopped by.
      Melissa

      • Hi Melissa!

        Yes, please do drop in when you can, you’re very welcome (open forum) and we would love to have you there – we should be starting up a new couple of sequences soon-ish!

        And I agree, the joy of working with others, finding out where the differences contrast & compliment etc – it’s so damn addictive! I haven’t been able to stop since whenever it was I started (a pleasant haze I guess)

        Yeah, there is an almost sick need in some writers to collect rules, then, once enough are gathered, chuck em on like armour and use it to protect their work/themselves?

        Ash

  5. A million monkeys…

    Hate is a strong word. Haiku serves as an excuse for lazy minds to call themselves poets. It has created a mutual admiration society of people lauding each other for their self-indulgent abuse of the form.

    I’ve written haiku anyway.

    My favorite reason is to hide sarcasm in comments to people who write haiku. I find it utterly poignant that the sarcasm has gone over their heads every single time! It was also mandatory to write haiku in school.

    There is no defense of my position. All poetry, no matter how bad, is iron-clad in the armor of interpretation. πŸ™‚

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