I never liked school assignments to write haiku poems. The results never sounded very poetic to me, and I got the impression that the purpose of the assignment was to make a way for kids who didn’t know how to write poems to write poems. It’s not that a poem has to rhyme, but just stringing words together according to a certain pattern does not make a poem.
I have discovered, however, that haiku contests produce some good stuff. I don’t know if they’re good poetry, but some of them definitely are humorous or thought-provoking. Several months ago, I read about a haiku contest in thinkgeek.com’s newsletter. I wrote my own haiku and submitted it, but it didn’t win. As I apparently didn’t save it, and I don’t remember it anymore, I can’t say how it compares with some of those that have won.
Since the haikus become the property of thinkgeek.com, I don’t know whether I can legitimately quote any here. But some of them are pretty good. If you don’t have a computer background, you may not understand a few of them. But take a look. Something there should make you smile.
I just read today about a haiku contest in conjunction with the upcoming G-20 summit in Pittsburgh. And this page has Harry Potter haiku. At first I thought it was someone’s clever creation based on characters from the book, but it turns out it actually takes dialogue from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and writes it as haiku.
Writing a haiku
Is discipline for the mind:
Short and to the point.