As anyone who’s successfully completed second grade can tell you, a haiku is a Japanese poetic form, usually used to capture a philosophic snapshot of nature. The reason second graders know haiku has less to do with poetry than with learning about syllabification—the ability to break down words into their component syllables. Unlike most western forms of poetry which rely on rhyme and rhythm, a haiku needn’t rhyme but it must adhere to the following form:
Line 1: Five syllables
Line 2: Seven syllables
Line 3: Five syllables
Typically, haiku are contemplative, wistful and telegrammatic with a focus on imagery. For example,
Thunder rips eardrum
Fireflies escape dampened grass
Lightning brings blindness
Sun bakes river mud
Frog hops, hoping for water
(Remember, I said example, not good example.)
Life, my life at least, is fullest when I’m comforting the afflicted and afflicting the comfortable. Thus, I was excited to learn of a new writing group at Hope for New Hampshire Recovery in Manchester beginning Tuesday, July 10 at 6 pm. (Full disclosure for those who haven’t followed my life as closely as I have: I
still live in the Tiny White Box, but it’s been transported a couple hundred miles south, and I’m now working at Hope.) Turning the placid meditations of eastern haiku on its head, Angry Haiku proposes to provide writers the opportunity to express anger, pain, dread and other uncontemplative emotions into the simple 5-7-5 of haiku.
Lies escape your lips daily
Daddy Mommy why?
You’re so mistaken
Cruelty is not a virtue
Kindness not a crime
Hunger meet anger
And now comes desperation
Party all the time
Left. Right. Up. Down. Silly fool
All roads dead ended
I’m gooish tub, dripping fat
Not bones but loose skin
As above, these are mere samples of what an angry haiku might look like, not superlative examples of the form. Your results may vary, and will almost certainly be better.
If you’ve completed second grade (or made your best effort to do so), if you’ve ever felt any negative emotions, if you want to meet some twisted people with senses of humor, please join us at Angry Haiku beginning July 10 at Hope.
If you need more information, or are afraid this might be a huge joke, please give me a call at (603)361-6266.