hai·kunoun, plural -ku for 2.
- a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into
3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.
- a poem written in this form.
Once upon a time I hated haiku. It’s incredibly hard for me to imagine this now… but I did. And also once upon a time I was going to be an English major. Yes, this is also nearly unfathomable (though I still like to think I’m literary). When I was at Elon way back in the day I signed up for a Winter Term class whose name has escaped me now… but the general principle was that all you did was write haiku. It was an odd choice seeing that I hated haiku so much, but I think that there was some other draw to the course that made me over look my burning hatred for the little poem. Prior to Winter Term my family spent some time in Florida. My mother saw it fit to begin my haiku studies early and insisted we write haiku about everything under the sun.
We wrote haiku about the ocean… about ants… about hamburgers (back when I ate red meat)… about waiting… about, well about anything. We wrote so many haiku we were as prolific as Bubba Gump Shrimp recipes. And by the end of it, I didn’t hate haiku so much any more. Actually, I kind of liked haiku. In the end I actually refused to go back to school for Winter Term; I never took that course.
And so that brings us to my in-progress autobiography via haiku. Maybe one day if I’m ever famous someone will think that I’m brilliant for this endeavor, or maybe they’ll just think I’m crazy and they’ll pitch it all in the rubbish bin. There are definitely gaps in the timeline, but as with all good posthumous autobiographies someone will be challenged to fill in the spaces. I hope that they’ll use my chose genera – the haiku.
You can find a random haiku in the sidebar of this blog, or you can view the entire collection by clicking Haiku in the navigation. Please don’t be disappointed, I never said that I was good at haiku… I only said that I wrote haiku. And since this is an autobiography via haiku I’m taking some liberties that the ancient haiku writers probably wouldn’t approve of… namely I’m pretty much cutting out Mother Nature. Some are natural… but a great many more are simply an anthropological perspective on the world around me.
A very dear friend of mine would always end his haiku with the 5-syllabic phrase “I suck at haiku.” Perhaps I should do more of that…