How to Read a Haiku

Post date: May 29, 2018 12:11:25 AM

A major new addition to the Essays page is “Thirteen Ways of Reading Haiku,” recently published in The Mamba. Many essays address the issue of how to write haiku. This essay takes a reader’s approach to these poems, pointing out techniques and objectives to look for when encountering haiku. But of course, pseudo-haiku won’t exhibit most of these techniques, which means that such poems are most likely not haiku, despite how assertively their authors claim them to be “haiku.” It’s not just syllable counting! In fact, it’s not syllable counting at all. Knowing what to look for can help readers get beyond the erstwhile T-shirt slogan: “Haikus are easy / But sometimes they don’t make sense / Refrigerator.” +