100 Haikus in 100 Days – the halfway pointPosted: July 24, 2014
Here I am at day 50 of my personal 100 Haikus in 100 Days challenge. I’m a little bit behind on the haiku itself, having just posted number 40, but I have plenty of time to catch up. I’ve also learned to carry a notebook and pen around with me to write down lines and images that come to mind. I had almost a dozen haiku fragments tapped into my phone before the thing slowed to a crawl and started getting hot as this phone tends to do when it’s time to clear it with a factory reset. I was so annoyed at the phone itself that I forgot there was stuff I was working on in there.
But I’ll get back on track soon enough. Not only have I been spending the last few weeks writing haiku poetry, I’ve been reading some as well. I started with Harold G. Henderson’s (what I am assuming to be) classic collection of Japanese haiku translations, An Introduction to Haiku. This was a good, quick entry into the origins and history of haiku, made fascinating by the realization of how ingrained poetry in general and haiku specifically is to Japanese culture.
What I’ve been enjoying most, though, are the issues of Scifaikuest I’ve bought over the past few years and never got around to reading. I’d never given much time to science fiction poetry before, and I’m finding myself amazed at the possibilities. It’s something I’m going to explore further.
As for my haiku, I realize that much of what I’ve been writing is kind of hackneyed, meeting the bare-minimum definition of haiku by doing little more than jamming words into a 5-7-5-syllable pattern. But it does feel good to be writing again. I’ve got a few more haiku books on my list, including collections, histories and how-tos. As I progress, I’d like to move into a more “modern” style of haiku writing with less emphasis on the syllable count and more focus on creating powerful images with minimal words. Thanks for taking this journey with me.