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. 


~ by luna on December 10, 2008.

14 Responses to “economy of form”

  1. Congratulations all around!

  2. Luna, you are so
    very clever with the words,

  3. Congratulations – both on the haiku prize, and on 200 wise, witty and thoughtful posts!

  4. Day-yumn, you’re good. 😉

    Congratulations!! And congrats on 200 posts! (I’m almost there myself!)

  5. I am in awe, Loon
    Your economy of form
    Makes me bow down low

  6. You rule and you rock
    In this ancient form and, soon,
    In your nursery.

  7. Big-hearted genius,
    Contest-winner, prolific
    poster, and soon: mom.

    Well done on the contest and on your 200 posts. So glad to have your voice.

  8. Congratulations on the win, and Happy 200th post!

  9. Congratulations,
    my dear friend Luna! All those
    snarky haiku paid!

  10. Congratulations on your beautiful winning haiku and your 200th post!

  11. Happy 200th;
    day-yum you deserved to win;

  12. […] capture with words laughs or […]

  13. […] Luna 2The best haiku promised a prizeTo capture with words laughs or criesIt didn’t have to rhymeThey say it’s coming in timeIf I ever see it, I’ll be […]

  14. […] Luna 2 The best haiku promised a prize To capture with words laughs or cries It didn’t have to rhyme They say it’s coming in time If I ever see it, I’ll […]

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