Monday, February 28, 2011

Four autumn haiku

(based on suggestions from peeps at Paul's birthday party, but I can't remember from who! Mystery contributors today.)

**Update! Aimee has reminded me that she was the one who suggested dog food. A discussion of why there were peas in dog food followed.


I fell from a tree!
Our thoughts produce xanthophylls
Leaves land in dog food


A wet gumboot march
Rubber stomp of size six dreams -
Bought before your birth


Spoon breaks the suction
Plop! It falls into the bowl
Autumn-toned dog food


I would remember
Wet leaf dreams and dog food spoons -
If I'd had less wine


Today's poems are haiku, 3 line poems with 5, 7, and 5 syllables respectively. They traditionally contain a a kigo or seasonal reference (autumn, in this case) and a kireji or cutting word - this has no equivalent in English, so English haiku often use punctuation (eg. a dash, ellipsis or exclamation mark) to cut the stream of the poem or make the reader reflect on the juxtaposition of images/thoughts.

Haiku are a bit like picture books - people think because they're short they are easy to write, but it's because they are short that they are hard. It's easy to write crap haiku. I wrote heaps this morning and these are actually the best ones (no, really. You shoulda seen the ones I chucked out).

I'm also long-winded, so restricting an idea to 17 syllables without being too mundane or simply telling a joke is difficult. It's a bit like cramming a thought into a tweet, and you get 140 characters for that.

These haiku are based on suggestions made at Paul's party (dog food and dreams), which I had to ask about again because I couldn't remember what was suggested, and I still can't remember who suggested what. Sigh.

Xanthophyll provides the yellow colouring in autumn leaves.


Mark Lawrence said...

That is the most insightful and concise and understandable explanation of haiku I've read! Thank you so much!

And your haiku are lovely!

Happy Birthday to Paul, btw.

Anna said...

Ha! Excellent. I should run classes.