American Haiku

When I was younger and Japanese Haiku poetry was in vogue, if someone would attack me with something like “Oh, do you know Haiku?” I would cross two imaginary sticks in front of them to fend them off in the same way you would defend yourself from a vampire.  I was therefore surprised that during the time we were working in Japan and I was getting interested in Japanese culture, I suddenly became fascinated with these little poems.  Most astonishingly, when one gets into one’s head the concept of a three line poem, topical, often seasonal and sometimes humorous, they just seem to pop out of nowhere, fully formed and, more often than not, having exactly 17 syllables (or technically moras) in the form of 5, 7 and 5.  I’ve heard that Haiku originated as playful game and that sometimes one person would think up the first phrase (5 moras), a second person would come up with a phrase of 7 moras and a third would be required to supply the final 5 moras.  I haven’t had the opportunity of trying this but it sounds like at least as much fun as the Dictionary game.  It would certainly require sharp wits!

So I offer these American Haiku.

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