So many, many new poets here on Soup, it is wonderful how the community has grown. As I spread my wings, I want all of you to know MY NEST IS HERE. Lately, I have been putting up my published verses for you to read, not because I am bragging, but because I can no longer put any in print here and PUBLISH IT. Anything posted here is considered by most venues [magazines-literary journals etc.] as published. I am trying hard to get paid SOMETHING for my writing! STILL, I so miss sharing with all of you. I also so love to HELP you see what the 21st century market place wants?
I have sent some of the verses posted on Soup as REPRINTS to none paying markets. Many of the ones which were accepted got barely any notice here on Soup, very few comments and I must say, it hurts! I thought they were bad? I guess I'm getting growing pains?
Anyway I will continue to try to help you in blogs and by running contests.
My next contest REQUIRES a haiku. Below is a HAIKU CHECKLIST - by Michael Dylan Welsh - my mentor. It will help you WRITE a haiku. What most of you are writing and labeling haiku - are not haiku. So many of you have not seen this before I do suggest you print it out for your self.
For haiku inspiration, look closely at everything around you in nature, at home, at school, and at work. Write your haiku first, letting yourself be free and creative. Then ask the following questions about your haiku to help you improve them.
1. How long is your haiku? It’s usually good to write in three lines of about 10 to 17 syllables. In English, haiku don’t have to be in the pattern of 5-7-5 syllables—the following questions are much more important.
2. Does your haiku name or suggest one of the seasons—spring, summer, fall, or winter? In Japanese, a kigo or “season word” tells readers when the poem happens, such as saying “tulips” for spring or “snow” for winter. This is one of the most important things to do in haiku.
3. Does your poem make a “leap,” by having two parts? In Japanese, a kireji or “cutting word” usually cuts the poem into two parts (never three). Giving your poem two fragmentary parts is also one of the most important things to do in haiku.
4. Is your haiku about common, everyday events in nature or human life? To help you do this, describe what you experience through your five senses.
5. Does your poem give readers a feeling? It can do this by presenting what caused your feeling rather than the feeling itself. So others can feel what you felt, don’t explain or judge what you describe.
6. Is your poem in the present tense? To make your haiku feel like it’s happening right now, use the present tense.
7. Did you write from your own personal experience? When you write other kinds of poetry, you can make things up, but try not to do that with haiku. Memories are okay, though.
8. How did you capitalize or punctuate your poem? Haiku are usually not sentences (they’re usually fragments), so they don’t need to start with a capital, or end with a period.
9. Does your haiku avoid a title and rhyme? Haiku are not like other poems, which may have these things. Haiku don’t have titles and rarely rhyme.
10. What can you do with your haiku? Can you illustrate them, collect them in a notebook, or display them? You could write haiku in your journal every day, enter them in a contest, publish them, or share them at a poetry reading or online.
With practice, you won’t need to ask yourself these questions about your haiku. Japanese haiku master Basho said to “learn the rules and then forget them.” What I believe he meant was that it’s good to internalize the rules (or targets, as I like to call them) so thoroughly that you no longer have to think about them, the way a chess grandmaster no longer thinks of making bad moves. Have fun with your haiku and enjoy noticing life more closely through your five senses!
Please WRITE a haiku in the comment box and I will help you learn to write traditional haiku. Use the photograph above as inspiration.