Haiku is an ancient Japanese form of poetry.
In its ancient form haiku has a strict form. It has three lines of five, seven and five syllables. There should be some indication, in the words, of the season, Summer Autumn Spring Winter, that is the time in which it is set. The topic is usually Nature in one form or another. The last line should contrast with the rest of the poem, and should follow some indication of a break in the theme. That is, there should be two contrasting themes that use the juxtaposition to highlight the contrast between them. The haiku should be self-contained and need no outside explanation or reference to make its point.
These rules are sometimes broken in modern haiku, although the form should be followed fairly closely.
My haiku take the 5-7-5 form but tend to vary a bit in other ways. Some have the seasonal reference, some don’t. Often I like the last line to do more than just provide a contrast to the rest. I like it to continue the story, or perhaps, make the point more strongly, or be related in some way to the story but, perhaps, supply a surprise ending.
I have also written some haiku that have more than one verse. I don’t think that was/is allowed in either the ancient or modern forms, but it allows me to develop an idea much better than just having one verse of three lines.
Some writers may not like my variations, but they suit me and allow me to say what I want to say and that is the important thing, at least to me.
I like the haiku form for its rigid line structure. Being forced to keep the 5-7-5 syllable form usually requires a lot of thought about the words and what I want to say. I don’t find that restrictive, because I like working with words. I find it more of a challenge than a restriction. Sometimes it takes a long search through my memory, or even dictionaries and other books, to find the exact word that fits and has the right meanings and inferences. I think that I’m making extra work for myself, but I don’t mind that.
Here are 21 of my haiku. Some are single verses, some are longer with more than one verse. Some are about Nature, many are about my feelings at a particular time. Some are simply stories, some have deeper meanings if you sit and think about them. Some are new, some are old. Most have not been previously published.
I hope that you consider them worth reading. As with all my writing, whether verse or prose, my aim is to get you to think about it. If I achieve that, then I have done what I set out to do, and have achieved my aim in writing anything.
This is my first book of haiku, although I have been writing them for a few years.
Also by Rod Pitcher on obooko:
Author's Blog: http://rodswhispers.blogspot.com.au/