I have, as I'm sure my regular followers are aware, an obsession for all things Japanese. At the same time as I was writing my Steele novels I felt the need to broaden my experience in writing to different types of creative work. Having read a number of poems by Jo von Bargen I knew that I couldn't aspire to her levels of excellence and so it was the Japanese Haiku that I turned as an outlet.
I have gone through the rules of Haiku in a previous blog but one aspect was very satisfying and that is this type of poem is intended to express something current. Haiku has been around over three hundred years and after the creator of the format Bashoh had established the pattern subsequent poets 'fiddled' with the style but it always seems to come back to the original format that I try to emulate.
Since I began writing them a few weeks ago I have produced loads! I am not discussing quality but would like to try and break a poem down to better demonstrate how they work.
Mary and Joseph’s
Lives were no longer their own
Summer came along
Remembering that there should be a dichotomy of ideas so 'Mary & Joseph's' (5 syllables) lives are totally altered by the birth of their son which is described in the middle line 'Lives were no longer their own' (7 syllables). Then the seemingly unconnected third line that describes the result of the birth of the child on the parents lives and also contains the compulsory season word 'Summer came along' (5 syllables)
I hope this helps those who have been wondering about the format. Since beginning with this style of poetry I have tried to use it to describe a bigger picture as one would do with separate stanzas in a more regular style of poetry. It is our churches 40th anniversary next year and I have tried to describe parts of the life of our church over that period in 40 Haiku. Also, as a part of Lent observance I am writing 1 Haiku each day based on the book of Revelations. These last two projects may or may not be published in the long run.