Tuesday, January 29, 2013

A haiku a day keeps the poet at play

I've been a writer before I could even really write, scribbling pretend letters along with my doodles.  Once I learned my ABCs, I was putting them together to make all sorts of things, including poems.  This has lead to some truly, truly embarrassing attempts at rhyme.  Let's just say that there was a time when I grasped for a phrase to pair with 'fun' only to end up with 'hot dog bun'.

Thankfully, these word choices refined slightly by the time I was in high school, taking part in poetry slams which began my freshman year, and continued at least a few years after I graduated as far as I know.  I even attended one or two as an alum.  Now that I think about it, I should see if it's still happening, and volunteer to judge or something.  Continue on the tradition, as it were.

On a personal level, I've continued the tradition slightly with one of my guideline resolutions, keeping a journal on hand as much as possible, and so far filling it with at least one haiku a day.  For the most part, these are not compositions I would ever attempt to perform or publish.  They are meant to be more like mental puzzles for me to complete each day.  Instead of jotting down at the end of the day something like, 'Went to work, had meetings, came home and watched TV,' several times in a row, putting it in haiku form forces me to think about the day in a different way.  Some days, it's an abstract list of the highlights of the day.  Other days are scribed based on a particular moment.  And still other days I end up writing more than one haiku, along with any other random writing ideas that spring to mind.

Having to carefully choose the words to fit into the 5-7-5 syllable format so far has felt more like an opportunity and a challenge than an annoyance.  As I'm walking to the coffee maker, I'm counting syllables and deciding whether today's musing should be dedicated to my desperate need for caffeine.

Of course, the end of January is hardly the time to be declaring a resolution a success.  But it's a start, at least.

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