A Saturday in My Shoes, Haiku Style

Hey, y’all! It’s been a while, and I was in a playful and creative mood today, so I started thinking about writing a blog. But of course, it would be too easy for me to just write any old blog…I wanted a challenge. After pondering my options, this idea suddenly popped into my head: What if I could write about my day so far, but using only poetry? Better yet, what if I could use only Haiku poems?

poetic-pen

As many of you are probably aware, Haiku poems are an ancient Japanese-style poem. Traditionally, they are made up of three lines and 17 syllables, following the rule-of-thumb of 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 again in the last line. It was officially reformed as an independent poetry style in itself by the poet Masaoka Shiki, in 1892. Many Haikus are focused on nature, probably because one of the elements of the most traditional form specifies that each poem contain a kigo, or a season word, that clues the reader in to the season the poem takes place in.

haiku

Personally, I have always been fascinated by the Haiku. For the same reason that I love quotes for their ability to send messages and convey emotion in a very small space, I love these poems.

Haikus are the definition of control, expression, directness, and simplicity. They are deceiving because of their length, but they manage to do in only 17 syllables what it takes many writers to describe in hundreds of pages. They can paint detailed pictures, invoke tears, spark laughter, and tell whole tales. To speak oxymoronically, they are complexly simple—impossibly succinct yet endlessly deep in interpretation.

Their brevity lends them to a plethora of possible interpretations. To me, a Haiku is not written as much with intent to send a very specific message, but rather to encourage readers to apply the message they believe is written to themselves, inwards. No two people can look at a 3 line poem the exact same way and interpret it identically. Not even one person can look at the same poem twice and read it the same each time! Haikus rely on context and emotion to guide interpretation. We make of them what we intend to make of them at the moment we read them.

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My love of these little poems actually began quite a while ago, in elementary school. In fourth grade, I checked out a pile of books on Haikus, took them home, and wrote a ton on my own. Being the quirky kid I was, I remember setting up a little “poetry station” in my house inside a giant cardboard box, complete with a hand-rigged flashlight lamp, pillows, and a steady supply of goldfish crackers. I ended up submitting what I wrote to a writing contest, and won an unexpected award!

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It’s been such a long time since I’ve written anything resembling poetry, so I figured why not? Of course, I haven’t followed the traditional nature or season rules, but here’s my modern interpretation of an ancient classic: Saturday Style.

Wake Up

Sound jolts me awake

Leaving dreamland abruptly

Hello, alarm clock

Wake-Up-Ready-to-Face-Your-Day

 Birds

Joyous, playful chirps

Twinkle outside the window

Surrounded by song

 Why-do-birds-chirp-so-early-in-the-morning

Morning Primping

Teeth, hair, contacts

Toothbrush, hairbrush, saline drops

The morning routine

 woman-washing-face-getting-ready-after-a-workout

Caffeine

Black and delicious

Pool of toasted coffee beans

Love affair with caffeine

 cup-of-coffee

Breakfast

Tap, crack, sizzle, cook

Yellow orbs in a white sea

Sunny side up day

Perfect Sunny Side Up Eggs

Saturday

It is Saturday

The weekend is beginning

Savoring the day

 Saturday

The Newspaper

New York Times and tea

Various iPhone news apps

Informed citizen

NYX

Reading

Enter a world

Characters in their stories

Turning fresh pages

 dabbs-foster-love-reading-Thinkstock

Internet

A swirling vortex

Boundless and full of answers

Lose all sense of time

 internet

Driving

Red car, Subaru

Adorned with bumper stickers

Trusty companion

 driving

Parallel Parking

Pull forward, pull back

Turn the wheel left and right

Squeezing between white paint lines

 Parallel_parking_--_5-28-2009

Yoga

Sun salutations

Surrounded by boundless love

Moments to connect
yoga-silhouette-253

Shopping

Walking in the store

Picking out what I came for

Leaving with my prize

 shopping-bags-retail-ss-1920

Bookstore

The smell of new books

Paper, jazz, café

Barnes and Noble break

 book-store-in-dso-city

Blog

Writing a new blog

You are reading it right now

Poem storytelling

 typing-test-speed

There you have it! A day in the life (so far, at least). I’ll end today with a famous Haiku by the poet Matsuo Bansho:

In the twilight rain

These brilliant hued Hibiscus-

A lovely sunset

 poem

Goodnight!

-Rowena

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