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Posts Tagged ‘How many Syllables in a Haiku’

I’ve just read Imagine: How Creativity Works by Jonah Lehrer, which suggests that creativity can be stimulated, rather than handicapped, by highly structured formats.

‘ … look at poets, who often rely on literary forms with strict requirements, such as haikus and sonnets. At first glance, this writing method makes little sense, since the creative act then becomes much more difficult. Instead of composing freely, poets frustrate themselves with structural constraints.

But that is precisely the point. Unless poets are stumped by the form, unless they are forced to look beyond the obvious associations, they’ll never invent an original line. They’ll be stuck with clichés and conventions, with predictable adjectives and boring verbs. And this is why poetic forms are so important. When a poet needs to find a rhyming word with exactly three syllables or an adjective that fits an iambic scheme, he ends up uncovering all sorts of unexpected connections; the difficulty of the task accelerates the insight process. ‘

The following two posts embrace the constraints of the 5-7-5 syllable Hiaku and then 14 line, 10 syllable, iambic pentameter – Google it-  sonnet.

The following Hiakus are by Canberra poet, Ralph Sedgley.

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On Julbup water

                  Two ducks on Julbup

                           leave converging trails, sparkling

                   in the winter light.

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 The heron

Through outgoing tide

a heron stares intently;

alder leaves drift by.

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Pelican lovers

                        Two pelicans

                                      slowly spiraling upwards,

                                     soaring above the city heat.

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