Poetry can be oh-so complicated and high brow but sometimes it’s just as good to “keep it simple” which is what my friend CS and I did over lunch yesterday when we had our very first haiku competition.
But before that, a few rules about haikus that you might have forgotten since you last wrote one in the 3rd grade. They have a basic construction. Line #1 has 5 syllables. Line #2 has 7 syllables and Line #3 has 5 syllables. And – for the most part – they focus on nature.
Here are some examples of proper haikus:
Falling to the ground, / I watch a leaf settle down / In a bed of brown.
As the wind does blow / Across the trees, I see the / Buds blooming in May
But haikus are more than sappy “I’m so glad that spring is here” moments written in poorly crafted love letters and Hallmark cards.
Veer, a stock image website, had a contest that closed just a few days ago that asked participants to use their favorite font as inspiration for a haiku.
Here is my favorite by @Faldim
A few years back, the Houston Chronicle asked folks to submit haikus that best described the summer heat. This is my favorite, though not in standard haiku format:
Mom doubted my choice
I married an AC man
I married an AC man
Who is laughing now?
But haikus have been known to inspire more than just their simple form. For those of us who enjoy a nice handbag every Christmas, the Gucci bamboo bag seems elegant to me.
And, of course, there is the work of Japanese fashion designer Yohji Yamamoto.
Those things said, CS and I had quite a wealth of inspiration for our high-speed text haiku-a-thon. And although some of our entries would probably get an HBO Sunday night tv rating, here are a few that made the cut.
No. 1: Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don’t make sense / Refrigerator
No. 2: Ice cream needs more praise / I had menage a trois today / With Ben and Jerry
No. 3: Nothing is better / Than sniffing glue from a tube / Obituary
Sometime today, take a moment to count syllables on your fingers and come up with something clever.
And who won the contest? CS, hands down!