Fred Leeds sent me a haiku the other day. I liked it and started experimenting with them too. I’ve never written one before. Even with my own loose and lackadaisical style, it’s not as easy as it looks.

From what I can see, boiling down complex rules that depend whether you are writing in Japanese or English, a haiku consists, roughly, of three elements:

* imaging a theme of nature, weather or season
* a pivot word signaling a juxtaposition
* a sudden switch of context in a way that suggests an unexpected connection

Here are three haiku each from Fred, and myself, in Writing:

  • Ice, Sparrow, Summer rain … three haiku by Fred Leeds, in Writing
  • Rain, car polish, fishing … three haiku by Alex Forbes, in Writing.

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