What is a haiku?

 by Nicholas A. Virgilio



What is a haiku? the gentleman asks;

A fragment of frilly verse composed

By an old lady through with her knitting tasks:

A nibble dribble of prose, he supposed.

Of course, he’s a prominent poet:

A master of western poetical forms,

Egotistically eager to show it,

That he could invent beyond the norms.

He seventeen-syllabled a ream

In vain, to compose a single verse;

Abstractions flowed in a stream,

Drowning the truth: simple and terse

Disgusted, exhausted he was through . . .

Trying to embody what can only be pointed to.



From Modern Haiku 1:3, 1970. Used with permission of the Nick Virgilio Haiku Association.