Saturday, November 22, 2014

10 haiku a day?

The most recent issue of Frogpond contained an interesting article about "The Buson One Hundred," a challenge to write 10 haiku a day for 100 days. That means creating 1,000 haiku.

I haven't written 1,000 poems - let alone haiku - in my entire life.

The article by J. Zimmerman and Gregory Longenecker notes that Buson himself tried the challenge twice, but did not meet the goal of 1,000 haiku. The article includes observations from five contemporary poets - the two authors, along with Eleanor Carolan, Patricia J. Machmiller, and Phillip Kennedy - who tried the challenge. They likewise admit that they didn't always make the goal of 10 a day - so they sometimes had to write extras to make up for missed goal. Plus, they acknowledged that many of the haiku were more drafts than polished haiku, and a relatively small percentage were eventually polished and even submitted for publication - some 5-10 percent. Still, that's 50-100 poems, a decent number.

It's sort of like those "write-a-novel-in-a-month challenges. A fun idea, but not condusive to high quality.

I scribbled a few this morning -

this haiku poet
must jump into the shower -
morning Mass awaits

counting the tweeters
who've begun to follow me -
new paranoia?

son of a sailor
studies this morning's red skies -
changes are coming

garbage day -
ignoring all the stains on
discarded mattress

Um, okay.

I doubt I'll take up the challenge. I don't know how I'd come up with 10 a day. But the discipline of writing a least a few each day is a good idea. It's like exercising. The more you do, the better, stronger you get.

And I might even come up with a few haiku I can actually revise and submit.

Probably not that mattress one, though.

(Added later -

 incident at mall -
small boy stops, points at me and
intones "Ho! Ho! Ho!")

Pax et bonum

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