The Haiku Killed Poetry

The Japanese nature poem without rhyme or meter, usually written with the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a “cutting word” between them, in a 5-7-5 syllable pattern and including a seasonal reference, always seems kind of lackluster and humdrum to me.  I tried to understand them and I even tried to write one, but it turned into an exercise in counting syllables, not having any feelings, which is not exactly poetry.  The damn Haikus seem to be everywhere, where everyone and his brother is scribbling down these cryptic statements that appear to be beyond the scope of my intelligence.  Sometimes I come across a Haiku that is engaging and leaves my imagination wondering, but mostly I just don’t get them.  Please accept my apology if you are a Haiku poet, as this post is not mean to vex you.

I try to greet poetry with a warm reception, but I am a tourist when it comes to poetry, I would rather read a verse, than be stuck in the back of a hearse.  I enjoy looking up at the sky, much better than having to die.  Traditional poetry is generally considered to adhere to specific forms, rhythms, and meters and this was the poetry written by Keats, Shelley and Shakespeare.  In 1855, along came modern poetry when Walt Whitman published ‘Leaves of Grass’, as this poem was unlike what was written before where almost every poem used either rhyme and meter or blank verse.  One of the big differences between traditional poetry and modern poetry is the use of form and structure.  Modern poetry often features disrupted syntax, which refers to irregular sentence structures.  In addition, many modern poems feature a stream of consciousness presentation in which the narrator presents the thoughts that come to their mind without regard to sequence or logic.  Stream of consciousness mirrors the way in which the subconscious mind works and shows poets’ increasing interest in psychology.  I am going to make some dense speculations and say that Shelley wrote poetry that was not subject to the control of the active powers of the mind and her imagination did encircle poetic power in a unique way, identifying it with a space of compulsive repetition, call and response, while Emily Dickinson wrote contemporary poetry and Ezra Pound wrote imagism poetry.  One day I hope to truly understand poetry making all my problems dissolve away.

Written for Daily Addictions prompt Week #32 – Reception, for FOWC with Fandango – Modern, for August Writing Prompts – Dense speculations, for Sheryl’s A New Daily Post Word Prompt – Dissolve, for Ragtag Community – Encircle, for Scotts Daily Prompt – Tourist and for Word of the Day Challenge Prompt – Vex.

23 thoughts on “The Haiku Killed Poetry

    1. I have taken a lot of criticism for writing this post and I agree with you totally. I feel that the haiku is better than most rap songs which I consider to be the lowest form of music, so that is not saying much for the haiku. The only good thing about them is that they are usually short.

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      1. Rap is a whole other discussion, one I am having with my daughter-in-law… Perhaps if you separate the words from the “music”, you might be left with something with meter and often rhyme. Hard to argue that is not a poem, just because you find the content not to be your cup of tea. Definitely a step up from stream-of-consciousness.

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      2. I contend that poetry can be discerned without regard to its artistic merit. You can write a highly artistic poem or a less artistic one. Artistic quality is a separate set of criteria than Poetic quality.
        Is it a poem (does it have meter)?
        Is it Art(quality of communication)?
        Different sets of questions.

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  1. Agreed. I’m not a fan of strict forms of poetry myself. The majority of them seem to lack feeling and leave me a bit cold. I don’t think I’ve ever written a poem that has a form (apart from a limerick), I just write whatever I feel at the time and don’t even think twice about structure. In my opinion you produce better poetry this way.

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    1. I am not an expert on poetry, but I know what I like and what I don’t like. I wrote this post because people seem to think that the haiku is so clever and this type of poem does nothing for me. I just read three of your poems and they were good. I am guessing that you are a new blogger, so I am wishing you good luck here.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Yeah, I’m a blogging noob! I’m liking this site so far – there’s a lot of good writing on here.
    As for the haiku, I’ve always felt uncomfortable reading them, like they are a bit jarring, you know? I’ve probably read one or two haikus that I really liked, but I guess it’s all about one’s own preferences.

    Liked by 1 person

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