Haiku as a Way of Self-expression – I Write Tiny Poems!

If you ever come across my twitter feed or any other old dwellings of mine on the internet, you might notice that I tend to publish the occasional haiku poem.
These short verses, often just three lines with not-too-many syllables in each (how to write a so-called correct haiku in the English language is a highly contested subject, which of I prefer to pretty stay out of) originally were meant as contemplations on nature.

Have you ever read (translated) haikus? or hokkus as these short verses originally were known?

A famous one, written by Bashō, in the 1680s, goes like this:

The old pond;
A frog jumps in —
The sound of the water.

The verse produces a picture, then another, and last a conclusion. Like a short film strip, or a series of still images. As though the author is playing with the audience’s visualization skills. Or perhaps tapping into our very senses.

For me, haikus are comparable to a very short walk in the park. A tiny glimpse of the world around us. In many ways, it’s like a text version of a photograph, or a short video. And they always make me smile.

So does writing them.

Using Haikus as a Way of Self-expression When All Else Failed

I had a writer’s block that lasted for more than a decade. Honestly, it still hasn’t completely dissolved, and I end up crashing into it on the most unlikely of places. Like when I’ve been asked to write a one paragraph summary of a text I’ve just read. Never mind the big important stuffs like exams, assignments, emails to family and friends.

But three lines of writing. Sometimes as little as five or six words, I knew I could do it. Even though I sometimes failed miserably, I knew there was a possibility of finishing something. And by publishing it, perhaps bringing someone a little bit of joy. If only for those moments it took to read my words.

These words weren’t abandoned poems, not if I could help it. So they became tiny blog posts, tweets and an occasional spark of ease and happiness.

This was at a time where I couldn’t draw, I couldn’t write and my body refused to let me dance the way I wanted. Writing haikus, and focusing on the beauty of the world out there . Without forcing anything, or making myself think «happy thoughts» (little-known secret: forcing happy thoughts never works).
Letting the world happen, yet documenting it somehow. Reminding myself that I was still a part of this word, even when I didn’t feel like that was true.

For a couple of years writing haikus and publishing the occasional photograph was the only way I made anything that vaguely resembled something art-like.

On some days it’s the only thing I can do. And that’s okay.

Photograph featured in the twitter haiku