I was amusing myself trying to write haiku yesterday. There’s a local haiku competition coming up and I thought, why not? I’ll give it a whirl.
I remember writing haiku at school when I was about Drama Duck’s age. Back then, of course, it was all about the physical structure: the three lines of five syllables, then seven, then five again. I doubt my teacher even mentioned the finer points of nature/seasonal imagery or the way a haiku captures the essence of a moment, gives an unexpected insight. If she did, I certainly wasn’t listening!
I found a gorgeous definition of haiku, itself a haiku, on the haikuoz website, by a bloke from Perth called Andrew Lansdown:
“Haiku are pebbles
poets lob into the pond
of our emotions.”
So I was sitting there, scribbling away, counting syllables on my fingers, when Demon Duck asked me what I was doing.
“Writing haiku,” I said.
“Oh, we’ve done that at school,” she says, with all the lofty confidence of a nine-year-old. “I’ve written 16.”
Then she looked over what I’d written, counted the syllables and said, “That’s good, Mum, you’ve got it right.”
Next up was Mr I-don’t-have-a-poetic-bone-in-my-body, aka the Carnivore.
“What are you doing?”
Maybe that nine-year-old confidence wasn’t misplaced after all. At least she knows more than her father about haiku.
After I’d explained haiku, including how they’re usually about nature, he said:
“But you could write them about anything, right? Important things, like tax?”
Later in the evening he came to tell me he’d written one, grinning from ear to ear. I present it here for your edification.
Tax office pressure.”
He is such an accountant.