Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Iraq War Haikus

By Donald Sensing

reposted from donaldsensing.com; links were valid when first posted

In case you don't know what a haiku is, it is a form of Japanese poetry.

Japanese haiku have been traditionally composed in 5-7-5 syllables. When poets started writing English haiku in the 1950's, they adopted this 5-7-5 form, thinking it created a similar condition for English-language haiku. This style is what is generally considered "traditional" English haiku. 

Over the years, however, most haiku poets in North America have become aware that 17 English syllables convey a great deal more information than 17 Japanese syllables, and have come to write haiku in fewer syllables, most often in three segments that follow a short-long-short pattern without a rigid structure. This style is called by some "free-form" haiku.
Some good Iraq war haikus are at Winds of Change. One example:
Ah, Peter Arnett 
Finally they realize 
What a fool you are
This is a "traditional" 5-7-5 English haiku. Here is one I made up: 

Where is gone Saddam? 
Bomb craters have DNA. 
Perhaps some is his.

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