Through the years, I’ve belonged to various poetry groups. When I’ve mentioned haiku, some really good poets have said they have read it, but have never been inclined to write it.
Some have said that they really don’t think haiku is poetry, but merely a thought. Others have said they find it hard to say something meaningful in just a few words. Still others, when I give them a copy of a haiku journal, say they enjoy reading it, but it doesn’t appeal to them as much as free verse. They don’t even want to try it.
I write formal verse and free verse in addition to some short Japanese forms. In some cases, I believe that you don’t need to write a long poem, when you can say what you need to say in a few words. When I compose a long poem, however, it’s because I like expanding on imagery.
To me, a good poem, whether long or short, is rich in imagery. A poet is an artist who paints a picture with images.
I’ve always disliked reading poetry that tells me something, without showing me. Haiku is a poem that really “shows” the reader something. It isn’t always a pretty image, and there is often a juxtaposition of two images that are seemingly unrelated.
Some general poetry journals that publish “haiku,” are not really publishing haiku. That’s why it’s important to read a haiku journal, and one with a good reputation. I recommend “Frogpond,” the journal of the Haiku Society of America, “bottle rockets,” published in Connecticut, and “Modern Haiku Journal,” published in Santa Fe. They contain genuine haiku.
If you want to publish haiku, you must read a lot of the type of haiku that is being published today. I read haiku at least each week, and I’ve been doing so since 1995, when I began getting it published.
Why don’t you like to write haiku? I’m curious. Your comments will be appreciated.
And, if you read Part One and Part Two of my blog, “Why Do You Write Haiku?”, did the haiku poets inspire you to try it? Did anything they said impress you about it?
Copyright 2011 by Charlotte Digregorio.