I’ve been in a bit of a haiku slump this past year, but lately I’ve felt reinspired –thanks to the onset of spring and to a reaffirming talk by haiku poet Michael Dylan Welch at VanDusen Garden’s Sakura Days Fair.
One of the things Michael mentioned in his talk is the idea that a good haiku should not tell the reader what to think, but instead, “trigger” the reader’s emotional and imaginative response, or open a door for the reader to step through into the experience (kind of like the haiku is a partnership between writer and reader –part is supplied by the writer and the rest by the reader).
Below are a few of my new haiku (along with some related photos that I think are made sort of haiku-like through cropping). I don’t know if any of these poems achieve what Michael describes, but I thought I’d share them anyway. One of the things I try to do with my haiku is to simply be honest to the moment, and so if a kireji (“cutting word” or contrast) feels right, I include it. If the haiku doesn’t want to do anything but revel in the sensual experience of the moment, I let it. I’m trying to move away from the 5-7-5 syllable habit to sparer lines, but sometimes I have success, sometimes I don’t. If the poems resonate in any way for anyone else out there, I’d be interested to know.
[Note: reading these haiku over several months later, I am a bit embarrassed by them and am tempted to delete this whole post, but I like the visual images, so will leave them for now and chalk them up to "learning process."]
pink dogwood blossoms
gazing at the moon
a dream slips away
now the lilacs
third course of spring
feast of scents
jumping on trampoline