economy of form
So you all know how I love a good haiku, right? Being someone who loves to write yet struggles to be concise — i.e., I tend to be long-winded, wordy and sometimes redundant (see what I’m talking about) — I find this ancient form of Japanese poetry to be the ultimate exercise in economy. Each succinct syllable is crafted with meaning, intended to serve a purpose. Efficient.
If you’re like me, you might not view haiku so much as beautiful poetry (as you might have as a brooding ‘tween pondering the beauty of a rock or the reflection of nothingness) as a way to focus your thoughts when you’re feeling overwhelmed and scattered. You might ruminate on some meaningful haiku in the car on the way home, or while seething at your desk. It’s like a little word puzzle in your head. Creating a good haiku brings an odd form of satisfaction.
More importantly, I find great therapeutic value in not only finding those words that fit and make sense, but in the treasured (and often hilarious) responses I’ve received upon sharing my musings on a particularly bad Monday morning, or after being sideswiped by announcements and babies at work and hiding in my office (and here). Seriously, just read those comments. Instant gratification, I tell you.
Now, I’ve never claimed to write any award winning haiku. Until today, that is.
That’s right, guess who just won a cash prize for one of several haiku she submitted to the 1st Annual International Infertility Haiku Competition just for kicks? Aside from the traditional 5-7-5 syllable format, the only rule was that each entry “must relate in some way to your family-building journey.” Judges awarded prizes in both serious and light-hearted categories, and a few honorable mentions. Go ahead, click over and read the entries. I truly enjoyed them all.
I’m not even sure I entered my favorites, just a few that came out one day. I especially like this snarky one that was NOT selected:
watch out, here she comes
why must she waddle so soon
wow, she looks so fat!
Note the original said “damn, she looks so fat!” — but the way I say it, “day-yum” is two syllables, so I had to change it. But that one had to be written. That very day. As soon as I ducked into my office…
Here’s another one I liked but did not get selected:
hope, dream, wish, will, pray
longing all I can not have
will you ever come?
To anyone who may be wondering, yes, I am really glad I didn’t win a book on charting my fertility or something like that. I decided to use the award to put towards a new glider, which will be our first real purchase for our future nursery, eventually…
Speaking of waiting, here was the winning entry:
oh child, where are you?
how will you ever find me?
waiting, still we wait.
And if you really like haiku, check out this “Genuine Haiku Generator” created by a true admirer of the form, just for fun.
Oh, and this is my 200th post, by the way.