Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Haiku and Travis McGee

Traditional haiku is seventeen syllables, three lines whose length is five, seven, and five. The haiku should juxtapose three distinct but related ideas in search of a deeper truth.

Travis McGee
In a bright blue sky
Anchored in a silver slip
Floats the Busted Flush
Mystery fans who have read John McDonald's Travis McGee novels will recognize the reference to a boat, the Busted Flush, that Travis Mcgee, "salvage consultant" lived aboard. 

My criticism of my haiku is that it should be separate ideas, and not read like a single thought.

A second try, still not quite.
Its only okay
Because we believe it so
Or because it is
Haikus traditionally deal with nature.
In the dark green woods
Among meadows, trees and trails
I heard my footfalls
November Days
Cold November days
Wind blows from the frosty north
Winter comes too soon

Among the best Japanese haiku authors is Matsuo Basho.

He breaks form on occasion, as in A Cold Rain Starting.
A cold rain starting
And no hat-
The point of this exercise is, I suppose, the idea that good writers get to the point.

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