Book Review: An Introduction to Haiku

I’ve always loved haiku, despite not being a poetry buff by any means. There’s something addictive about trying to communicate in 5 – 7 – 5. Back when I was a young lad, like in the 2nd or 3rd grade, I did a haiku in crayons and watercolors. I kept it all these years, framed it, and it’s hanging in my room.

Rain falling softly
My flowers our watered now
Lucky day for me

Here’s a picture of this artistic brilliance:

I spent 30 minutes today with Harold Henderson’s An Introduction to Haiku, a little book with the best of Japanese haiku and some brief words on its history. I learned that the best haiku masters rarely followed 5 – 7- 5 syllable patterns and that my obsession on this one style is a sign of my poetic ignorance. I also learned that the best haiku expresses emotion, and should evoke a "flood of other emotions" not necessarily named by word.

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