Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Title of this post/ is haiku if I mention/ the season is Spring

Our grand and benevolent manager Terra loves poetry. Loves loves loves poetry. And she loves recommending haiku to folks who are looking for some good introductory poetry for kids and adults.

The great thing about haiku? In my mind, it's completely accessible to everyone. You read a good haiku, and it's like a single perfect chord strummed on a guitar--it resonates and you can feel it's vibe, if you know what I mean. It's also accessible in that, once you've seen several, you can write your own. The very direct rules of haiku give you a clear direction, and once you've got that, you're off and running.

The tough thing about haiku is, it's not as easy as it looks. Yeah, we all know the 5-7-5 syllable thing, and that most haiku must have some kind of connection--whether an explicit reference or simply a word that suggests--nature or the season.

But it's not that simple: look at my title--technically it follows all the rules. But let's face it, it kinda blows. Oddly enough, in my opinion kids write the greatest haikus.

My good friend Sam Riddleberger, author of The QwikPick Adventure Society, likes to have kids write poems about awful smells when he does school visits (the book is about some kids on a quest to see a "poop fountain" before it's gone. Don't ask, just go read the great book). Check out some in this old post on his blog.

1 comment:

Sam said...

Thanks for the kind words!

Yep, haiku and kids go together like Joey Pigza and similes.

I'm also a fan of speed over syllables. That is giving the kids 1 or two minutes to write, but letting them fudge the syllables.

I was first introduced to speed haiku at a Star Wars party and will forever be proud of my Hoth haiku.