1 month in


On starting

Ever since I started, many people have asked why I've decided to write haiku of all things. To be honest, it began with laziness actually. I wasn't some wide-eyed lit kid who'd breathe poetry for breakfast (I ate nutella (yes, from the jar) and drank milk, but I loved to make stuff up.

During my holidays, I had gotten into the habit of free-writing a short piece of fiction (almost) every night. But with school, I could not afford the time to do that. So, I turned to haiku, the shortest form of poetry I know. 

I wasn't sure If I was doing it right really. I just went with it and learned a little more about haiku each day both by reading and writing. It was easy at first, but the more I learnt the harder it got and at one point I was just lying on my bed for an hour trying to haiku it up. For its brevity, the haiku has a lot of rules. It has so many rules, some of them conflict one another. 

On 5-7-5

Simple right? Three lines, 5 syllables 7 syllables 5 syllables. Not at all. It turns out 5/7/5 applies to the Japanese sound units which don't exactly translate to English syllables. For example Tokyo is made of 4 sound units in Japanese but only 2 English syllables. So as a guideline, I'd work within 12-17 syllable, sometimes allowing myself to go even shorter to capture the essence of what I'd like to convey.

On kigo (seasonal words)

A kigo is a word referencing something in nature, often related to the four seasons. Well, I have pretty much trampled all over this little traditional rule here. Firstly, growing up in Singapore, the only four seasons here are hot, humid, wet and aircon, so writing from a local context, I felt justified to not include it. Also, while traditional haiku focused on nature, my interest is in the human psyche and it'd be more accurately called a senryu, a human haiku if you will. But for convenience sake, I'll still call it a haiku.


On haiku

So, at this point, you might wonder if what I'm writing is even a haiku even? It might be a haiku to some but not to others, who knows. But how I'd define a haiku is its lightness. Something that in three brief lines is able to capture a moment, spark a thought and make someone feel something. And with each line, the message changes dramatically and only until you've reached the final line would you have gotten the full picture. At least that is what I'm trying to achieve with my haikus.



I considered updating more regularly but it will remain a consideration for now. Perhaps I'll just go on a thought diarrhea once a month. That seems adequate, for now.