Sparks: Haiku Writing Exercise #2

Published in Pebbles 27:5, May 2015, page 13. Originally written in March 2015, at the request of Pebbles editor Donna Fuchsluger. “Sparks” is the name of requested commentary appearing in Pebbles, a haiku journal published six times a year by the Haiku Special Interest Group of the American Mensa Society. See also exercise #1 and exercise #3.

The majority of poets writing literary haiku in English do not follow a 5-7-5 syllable count, but instead have explored a number of alternatives, which include the following:

      1. One breath (whether in one line or three, or other variations).

      2. Short-long-short (usually in three lines).

      3. Other symmetrical syllable patterns (shorter than 5-7-5).

      4. A two-three-two beat pattern (counting accented syllables, such as 2-3-2 beats).

      5. Organic form (not to be confused with so-called “free” form).

Try writing haiku in one of the preceding forms if it’s different from how you usually write haiku. And don’t forget your seasonal reference, having a two-part structure, and using primarily objective sensory imagery (avoiding judgment, analysis, or other subjective elements).