Try Writing a Haiku

poetry-clip-art-1Do you remember a well-meaning teacher assigning a haiku for homework – maybe to instill a love of poetry. The products often resembled Ogden Nash poems – lots of nonsense but without his wit.

Alan Feuer’s “The 3 Lines of the Haiku Train Make 61 Stops in Manhattan” – online at Haiku Challenge in the Sunday New York Times – offers a short review of the style and samples from New Yorkers who participated in the paper’s challenge to write about the city in the three-line verse. Poets wrote about Central Park, the subway, Times Square… My favorite came from an online reader in Dallas –  Sharon Cohen wrote:

Union Square Market
Blueberries for ten dollars
New York City blues

Thinking about the city I live in now, I am working on a verse to celebrate the end of national poetry month – ocean, sun, surfers – not that easy to create three lines with 5,7,5 beat – and a punch line at the end of the 17 syllables. The New York Times offers  “a quick 101 guide on writing a haiku”:

• Only three lines.
• First line must be five syllables.
• Second line must be seven syllables.
• The third line must be five syllables.
• Punctuation and capitalization are up to you.
• It doesn’t have to rhyme.
• It must be original.

Have you tried writing one?

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7 thoughts on “Try Writing a Haiku

  1. I love writing haikus! You can find a number of them on my blog. The only problem is, once I start thinking in haiku rhyme, I can’t get it out of my head!
    Cat on my shoulder
    purring loudly in my ear
    constant companion

  2. I saw that this morning, and loved it. My favorite was:

    Tourists in New York
    Three abreast, strolling, chatting:
    I want to shove you.
    —Carolyn Lengel, 52, Garrison, N.Y.

    Not as lyrical as your pick, but probably more representative!

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