Thursday, April 14

Why Haiku?

As you may have noticed, I've been recently writing poetry on this blog. Specifically, a boatload of haiku. Here is the best explanation I can come up with for why the sudden shift in focus:

Ever since I quit playing video games and roleplaying games, my brain has been working in overdrive to find a replacement to mull over. Something to keep my mind busy during the course of the day when I'm changing diapers or watching Dora for the gazillionth time, and thus far, words have been it.

Not just any words, however, but a quick and concise form that comes to a point and ends, without waste, without leftovers, as minimal as possible without losing an aspect of creativity.

Thus, the haiku:

haiku are puzzles
organize the syllables
objective is love

Each haiku takes me at least ten minutes (most of the time a lot longer) to write. That's because each word is absolutely paramount to the structure of the whole. I only get 17 syllables to fit a precise idea or phrase: no more, no less. A thesaurus and dictionary are critical, and I found myself at Barnes and Noble the other day purchasing a hardback version of each, plus a rhyming dictionary for those times when I don't have convenient internet access.

Haiku also have a syncopated rhythm that I have come to love, since 5-7-5 is a groovy...


...not a stilted marching band sound like 4 or 6 or 8 or 10 would be.

Not that I won't write other poems as the mood takes me, and perhaps I will become bored with this form, as I eek out every drop of creativity from its simple arrangement. I doubt that highly, however. It has lasted throughout the ages, and it would be arrogant of me to think that I could write every possible decent haiku.

What I also enjoy about haiku is that they easily fit into the 140 characters of Twitter, which means I gain immediate publishing and feedback to my work, and if something sticks to people they are more likely to pass it on than if they had to fork over cash for a book, then lend it to a friend, then lose the friend and by association, lose the book.

Granted, I'll never get rich doing this, however, that's not really the point. I already have a day job, so this is meant as a constructive hobby that will keep my mind occupied, unlike video games, which can only ever be a deconstructive distraction. That's not to say that I decry anyone who plays a game, just for me, at this point in my life, I'd prefer to use the talents I've cultivated over the years in school, and glue together the words that appear in my brain in the dark of night.

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