Responses to my ongoing series about what I see as benefits for the fiction author from writing poetry have taught me a surprising thing. In comments and responses scattered over the Internet and sent to me personally, all but one who responded said they had or were writing poetry. Kaye George’s response about continuing to write haiku intrigued me, though she said she thinks her role as a musician is more relevant to her prose than the poetry.
Haiku was not a type of poetry discussed when I was in school, and, in fact, I didn’t know much about it until a nephew by marriage gifted me with a couple of his framed haiku poems written in honor of Spring Hollow after a family visit here.
Haiku is a Japanese poetry form–and you sure might call it minimalist! Writing this way takes a degree of quiet concentration for most of us, not to mention an urge to complete something beautiful in our few words.
The form traditionally is only three lines long, the first and last lines have five syllables, the middle one seven. That’s it. The haiku most frequently says something about the natural world . . . like this:
Satin glass snake twists/ringing the branch in green art/beauty cancels fear.
(I guess your reaction to this depends on how you feel about snakes?)
Okay, that’s my first ever haiku so don’t judge too harshly. Would you like to try one? I am now eager do go further in this intense and stunning art form.
By the way — do you think stopping to concentrate on writing a haiku could help those stuck in writers’ block?