I’ve always been scared of haiku. Wait. That’s not true. As a child, I loved haiku. They were easy. Count the syllables, write three lines and Bam! You’re done. It’s only been more recently that I’ve become afraid of haiku. It used to be 5 syllables/7 syllables/5 syllables and then there was the whole debate over how haiku can’t really be written well in English because it’s a Japanese art, so the syllable thing is just a guideline and in fact you could do 3/5/3 if you want…or even 4/6/3 or any approximation would work if you wanted, and it all became too wide open for me! If there was no set structure to ensure I was writing a haiku, then I felt more pressure to make sure there was deeper meaning behind my simple observation of the world. And what if that deeper meaning didn’t come across? And then my haiku didn’t even fit the syllabic format the reader expected? What if my haiku was crap?
But recently, I’ve decided that I like haiku again. There’s nothing like it for capturing a single image, and for me, nothing like it for evoking the emotion of a memory I’d like to hold onto.
Here’s one for today:
Small one sleeps,
sweat of dreams on brow,
laughter on lips.