I’ve had another brave writer step up to the plate and submit a poem for review. This is going to be short and sweet… because the poem is short and sweet. It’s a haiku, one of the most well known forms of poetry (second only to grade-school limericks, in my opinion). It’s also one of the most difficult forms of poetry.
One of my English teachers had an interesting perspective that sticks with me to this day. She said that the fewer the words a piece of writing has, the more important those words become.
If you’re writing a novel you have thousands and thousands of words to make the reader feel something and tell a story. A few sloppy words or phrases here and there don’t matter too much to the piece overall.
A short story does the same as a novel but with far fewer words. It has slightly less slack than a novel because there’s less to work with.
A poem makes a reader feel something, or paints a picture, or tells a story, but has very few words.
And a haiku… Well, I think you get where I’m going with this. Every word has monumental importance because they make up a far larger portion of the piece. Rather than 1 in 100,000 words (like a novel), or 1 in 10,000 (like a short story), or even 1 in a 100 (like a poem), a haiku is… What, 1 in 10?
That’s a lot of weight to put on so few words.
Now that I’ve totally psyched out the writer, on to the haiku review! (That rhymes, I laughed.) Continue reading