Image CC-BY-NC-ND-2.0 Steve Rotman on Flickr.com
I am joining Trina Haase at Trinarrative for a daily haiku challenge in December.
Each day for this haiku challenge, I try to read two or three haiku, learn something about the form, and write a haiku. It doesn’t take very long to read or write a haiku, so it’s tempting to read many more than two or three and tempting to write more than one. Once I get to tapping syllables with my fingers, I want to turn every stray thought into a haiku. But I am trying to break the habit of believing that a syllable count makes a poem. I am finding it helpful to experience the focus and intensity of haiku by allowing two or three to sit with me each day.
Today, I’m reading haiku written by Kobayashi Issa and reading a chapter in David Lanoue’s guide, Write Like Issa: A Haiku How-To. Lanoue’s first chapter focuses on Issa’s compassion for other creatures and his “lesson of imagining a fellow creature’s perspective to the point that ‘it’ and ‘I’ become ‘we’: sharing both space and consciousness.” Here is one of Issa’s haiku:
I noticed that Issa’s haiku do not follow the five-seven-five syllable rule for haiku, and so I am encouraged today to break free of the security blanket of syllables for my own attempt to share “space and consciousness” with the fellow creature I know best:
five cats sleeping
on my bed
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