A new beginning
The page is blank, awaiting
words that do not come.
Most writers recognize that Japanese Haiku poetry is beautiful in its simplicity of structure and complexity of meaning, but can writing Haiku make us better at what we do? This year the first thing I had my English students do was try their hand at expressing themselves through Haiku. Despite their weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth, I stuck to my guns. Why? Because I believe there is a great deal a writer can learn from crafting words in this unique way.
So why write in Haiku? Here are 3 Reasons Why Every Writer Should Try Haiku:
1. Haiku Teaches Brevity – For every writer who has ever worked with a specific word count, you just can’t put a price tag on this vital skill. Those of us who “have a lot to say” tend to be wordy, but writers must practice shaving off the excess and communicating powerful ideas in just a handful of words. In Haiku you are only allowed 17 syllables, usually arranged in a 5-7-5 pattern. What does this do for writers? It forces us to take a universal concept and express it clearly and succinctly. In other words, it gives your writing a laser focus.
2. Haiku Enhances Emotion – Writers of Haiku like to make a memorable emotional impact using only three lines of writing. In order to accomplish this, they must learn to use strong adjectives that capture the depth and richness of a feeling. In other words, saying “I feel sad” just doesn’t cut it – you’re forced to dive deeper into your word bank and produce something like, “Life is but darkness.”
3. Haiku Reveals the Beauty of Language – We all fell in love with writing at some point, but from time to time the daily grind can cause it to feel stale and routine. Haiku, however, forces writers to use language in unique and creative new ways to describe the beauty of life in a succinct and powerful way. (Think of it like a Sudoku Puzzle for writers.) You’ll find yourself falling in love with language all over again!
So get out there and craft a beautiful Haiku… you might find that it is addictive. But your writing is sure to improve!
The world indeed
is a dewdrop world – and yet