Into Being: Thought About Haiku

I wrote the following statement on haiku in October of 1994, in Foster City, California. It was first published in ant ant ant ant ant #2, Summer 1995, page 65.

 

A haiku is a poem that isn’t. We write our words and if you read the words but don’t see the words then words work and we call it a poem. And we write of fence posts and boot prints and daffodils recollected in tranquility, base of all space that births our verse.

        Then we linger. We call it a poem if we want to stay there. For we are arrested by the poetry police, handcuffed to the moment, taken like a picture by that substance called image—imagine!

       Sometimes these words we read slip into being, become poems, haiku. So we linger and dwell in words, become them, and then the highest compliment is that they make us—make us want to write something of our own, something someone can call a poem. The miracle is that these poems point the way, a way we think is, but isn’t.