Care for a spot of haiku anyone?
After reading about haiku over at the Puisi-Poesy Blog, I felt like sharing a bit of my own haiku compositions that I had done over the past two years since I bought this book by Patricia Donegan which was meant to teach children how to write haiku. It’s a very creative and nice book for beginners regardless of age, and Donegan’s easy to follow steps are actually very helpful in getting started. A lot of prompts, hints, exercises and images are in the book to help one get the hang of writing their very own haiku.
I was immediately enamoured by this beautiful yet simple Japanese poetic form after reading about haiku and learning of its origins and how so much can be conveyed so powerfully in three sentences comprised of only a total of 17 syllables, 5 for the first line, 7 for the second and 5 for the last. Three sentences may look very simple indeed but on the contrary, it’s even much more difficult to compose, though some haiku masters rarely adhere to the 5-7-5. As mentioned by Bibliobibuli(under comment No.8) over at Puisi-Poesy, we shouldn’t really get too hung up over adhering to the strict 5-7-5 syllable rule.
And with that, here’s the first of my very own haiku collection –
Busy bumble bees –
so busy to see the world
so easy and free
This is the first haiku that I have ever written, and I was quite happy with it. I was also quite surprised how easily this one came to me after seeing a couple of bees buzzing around some flowers in the garden of my old house in search of nectar.
Then, I was also struck by the thought of the simile “busy as a bee” and decided that it’s quite true, seeing that the bee is always busy searching for sweet nectar and never seem to pause and look at how much there is in life. Quite true also when looking at how everyone in Kuala Lumpur always seem to be rushing from one place to another at breakneck speed. Sometimes, to keep myself from being to busy, I would always recite this poem in my heart to remind me that there is much more to life than being busy, busy, busy all the time!
And here’s the second one –
Big scary waves lashing –
majestic and powerful
destroying all things
Okay, so the first line has six syllables…but I felt that this best describes the nature of the tsunami – “lashing waves”. Unless you have a monosyllable equivalent for me to replace…
This second one, of course, refers to the tragic December 2004 tsunami catastrophe that wrecked some of Malaysia’s Penang resorts and most of Indonesia’s Acheh, Thailand’s Phuket, Sri Lanka, India and also affected many other countries as well. The scale of the disaster affected me so much and I just couldn’t believe the devastation a gigantic wave could cause. The three lines pretty much summed up what I felt about these big, scary killer waves.
Finally, the third (but definitely not the last!) –
money politics –
how the mighty had fallen
for greed and power
Who said haiku should only describe the beautiful and sweet? I wrote this one during the time when the media had a field day covering stories that alleged some politicians are dabbling in money politics. Writing this haikuis my way of lamenting the seediness and corruptedness of politics in Malaysia, regardless of whether the allegations of money politics is true or not. But let’s face it, politics is a dirty, dirty world – it’s amazing that one of my goals before I die is to serve as an independent MP for a term!
Now that I have shared my haiku let’s read some of yours! If you have written your own haiku, please share them here. I’d really like to read some of yours and help one another hone this very beautiful and creative literary form. By getting more people to write haiku, there’s no doubt a haiku renaissance of sorts can happen! Besides, I think writing haiku is kinda therapeutic and much more expressive than the normal style of poetic writing.
Well, what are you waiting for? Keep those haikus coming!