haiku on life

Apparently the definition of “haiku” was a little oversimplified when I was in elementary school.  I was led to believe it was as simple as a Japanese poem with three lines of five, seven, and five syllables, that didn’t have to rhyme.  Since then I’ve discovered haiku almost always “present an implied comment on nature, often contrasting two opposing images”* — and that many Japanese poets hold to 17 as the total number of syllables, while varying the syllabic count in each line.  And that SOME poets don’t even use three lines, but just write 17 syllables’ worth of words on the same line.  These guys call themselves poets?!?  Talk about making it easy.  ANYBODY can write a bunch of words on the same line!  That’s not a poem; it’s a sentence.

Call me a pessimist (or an ignorant and uninformed barefoot guy from Alabama), but I don’t care what the Japanese experts say.  I’m going with Mrs. Campbell’s definition; i mean she was my second grade teacher — and a good one at that.

Just some thoughts on my life these days, in haiku form (titles are in bold, and are not included in the syllabic count — they’re for free):

diaperit’s all good except… 
waiting on baylor
planning to change her diapers
christie will force me 

it’s called a kikoi
hot dar es salaam
i’ve chosen to wear a skirt
but i’m still a man

swahilibookwar eagle and chips
it’s now november
i’m missing auburn football
no rotel in dar
words of irony
swahili language 
hamwezi kusoma hii
you all can’t read that

christian hedonism**
enter his kingdom
life as it was intended
joy and peace and love

* i quoted this from somewhere, but have misplaced its origin — is that still considered plagiarism?

** this term is on loan from John Piper, but I asked him if I could borrow it



Filed under haiku

2 responses to “haiku on life

  1. Ted Dahlman

    Yes she will force you
    And diaper mishaps happen
    So cut your beard first

  2. Pingback: 3 lines, 5 guys, 17 syllables, and a billion diapers « aliens and strangers

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