A Haiku is to a poem as a tweet is to a newsy telephone call. (See the previous post.)
A Twitter’s tweet is about two Haiku long. That’s all. I’m suggesting – or challenging: Twitterers, speak in Haiku.
If you recall from your school days, a Haiku is a short, very short, stylized Japanese poem, but it is very pithy, descriptive, insightful. Or just fun. It is three lines consisting of, in English, a total of 17 syllables: five in line 1, seven in line two, and five in line 3. Depending on the length of your words and numbers of punctuation marks and spaces, two Haiku could be a Tweet.
A TwiKu. Or Haikeet. Or Tweetku. Or . . .
Two, Two, Two Haiku
A Twitter’s Tweet make on-line.
The Long and Short
For a short poem, Haiku writing has a long list of “rules,” but only a few, including the 3-line, 17-syllable rules, are widely suggested:
l Include some reference to the season or time of year.
l For immediacy, write in the present tense.
l Rely on images to create a moment of understanding, harmony, humor or irony.
l Have some fun.
Conversely, Tweets, long in meaning, impose a limit of 140 letters/characters/spaces. The longest English words with only one syllable, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, are nine letters: screeched, scrounged, stretched, some plural nouns, and a few others: Long words, short sound, too many spaces.
The Japan Program at The University of Alabama (http://uanews.ua.edu/2009/02/ua-japan-program-presenting-23rd-sakura-festival/) has sponsored for 23 years The Sakura Festival, and part of the celebration is a Haiku contest. Here are several winners’ Haikus:
Through the winter mists
Steel beams of the crane appear
As lace, fragile, still
Amelia Heath - Northport, Alabama [92 characters/spaces]
Poems are my home;
Haikus those rare visitors
That quicken the heart.
Christa Pandey - Tuscaloosa, Alabama [67 characters, spaces]
Here is the 23rd annual 2009 Sakura Haiku winner:
Swelling clouds, the curves
of your body in darkness,
your whispers, the rain.
Sam Martone – Tuscaloosa, Alabama [78 characters, spaces]
Ok, here are a couple of my own:
Cows on interstates,
Tuscaloosa News got it.
Bizarre modern life.
Hummingbirds act out
Too early: Winter Comes soon.
Sun leaves: Eat. Fight. Fly.
Memory is Autumn’s
Gardenia. Once new, once sweet,
Now overripe husks.
That’s all. Sometime in a future post, I’ll tell you about the cows on the interstate.