Every week, I give a haiku workshop somewhere, mainly at libraries, bookstores, and through writer’s organizations. I’m celebrating my new book, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. I guess you could say I live and breathe haiku. Two major workshops in the near future are: (1) Sponsored by Poets & Patrons, at Hinsdale (IL) Public Library, Saturday, Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. (2) Sponsored by Glenview (IL) Public Library, Sunday Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. (The latter will include an audience haiku contest with prizes. Register at http://www.glenviewpl.org)
Why am I so enamored of haiku? Mainly because it is so healing. I discovered haiku in 1994 when I was going through a difficult time in my life. Capturing the moments of our lives–which is what haiku is all about–calms us. It doesn’t matter whether we are happy or sad, capturing our life’s moments validates us.
I have written haiku about funny moments, joyful moments, and serious moments such as illness, death, and aging. When we put something down on paper, the moment becomes all the more real, we face the dilemma, and even if it is a sad moment, we have a sense of freedom. We got that thought out on paper, faced the problem, and found that it was a little less scary.
I have written a few thousand haiku in the past twenty years. About 10 percent have been published, which is normal for any writer. Only a fraction of what we write usually gets published. But, we often need to share what we write, because when we share, people often respond to it, and let us know that they feel the same way we do or at least, they can relate to it. Then, we don’t feel alone in the world. Being a writer is a solitary activity, but sharing our writing makes it less of a lonely life.
Here are two haiku I published:
from torrential rain . . .
shoveling snow . . .
the weight of
The next time you feel lonely or have a problem to face, write a haiku–something thoughtful and insightful, not a “so what” (trite) haiku. Make sure it has some literary value, so it just isn’t a random thought. If you don’t think haiku has literary value, then check out my book from your library. It is a how-to book, and it discusses the literary elements of haiku.
You can write haiku with literary devices that is thoughtful and get it published. But, you must educate yourself about it. Investigate haiku!
Copyright 2014 by Charlotte Digregorio.