Thursday, 14 June 2007

Poetry Thursday - Haiku Healing

I read an article recently about the healing effect of poetry writing, in particular the Haiku.

The article tells of a guy living in New York who was constantly aggravated by the (unnecessary) honking of car horns. His first response was one of rage and so he threw eggs at the car, making the situation worse. But on reflection he decided to articulate his anger and frustration in a Haiku poem, or as he calls them a "honku"! Much better for the blood pressure!

The article goes on to say how calming reading poetry can be and that "the act of putting down our thoughts is emotionally stimulating". It also talks about a woman who had mini strokes causing neurological and mild cognitive problems, whose healing received a boost through writing poetry, due to the "workout", or mental discipline her brain received while composing. "Haiku trains the mind to see the little things in life, instead of obsessing about war, death, ageing, pain and the stress of making a living".

Haiku poems are meaningful yet compact and contain 17 syllables, traditionally five in the first line, seven in the second line and five in the third. A Haiku doesn't rhyme.

I have written verse and prose and have wanted to have a go at Haiku ever since my son brought his Poetry homework home in his first year of High School - I took finding this article as a nudge in the Haiku direction! Here are a few of my first attempts. They're harder to create than they look, but it's kinda fun, and like doing any puzzle, it becomes easier with practice.

cold rain falling down
wet shaggy dog shakes water
puddles surround me

summer heat burning
swimming pool water splashing
cooling refreshing

fallen trees block paths
strong winds blow dark storm clouds south
calm quiet morning


  1. Ok, I LOVE the picture.
    And that's an awesome article about the guy in NYC! lol!
    And your haiku is great! I suck at poetry...this sort of inspires me to try one.

  2. If that's your first attempt at writing haiku, then you're off to a good start!

  3. Australia sounds so lovely. And I am crazy for your I am grateful list -- How did you do that?

  4. For a first try, it's wonderful. I love the images you depict in such few words, Beauriful.


  5. Vivid picture! Each of them. I could see it in my mind, and feel it too! Enjoyed the article as well.

  6. The first haiku is my favorite. Such a vivid and adorable image. For a first try these are just lovely. Also a beautiful picture.

    I completely agree about the healing properties of poetry. I wrote about a very hard time in my life and read it at a slam poetry reading, it was the best therapy I've ever had... and it was free!

  7. Good to read the intro leading to your haiku.

  8. Wonderful haiku. Are you sure it's your first try? :) The photo is very calming, peaceful. Very nice!

  9. Patti -

    Wow! Very nice, really... ;)

    Love all three. Loved the third one best.

  10. Patti... I loved reading your post. The information about poetry is interesting and so true . And, I truly enjoyed your poetry.

  11. Thanks for sharing your wonderful haiku with us.

  12. love the first haiku with the wet shaggy dog. very vivid.

    thanks for sharing! ;)

  13. You never fail to delight my senses!

  14. I'm with Rob; the third one was my favorite, too. These are so good (never would have known you were new to haiku). Well done!

  15. What a nice treat to discover your blog! I love the Haiku and agree that it is very healing. It's a lovely art form.


  16. Thanks for sharing your first attempt at haiku! I have never tried them myself--they feel rather daunting, even though (maybe because) they are so short. I really love your images--especially the dog one. This has encouraged me to consider trying some of my own haiku--thanks!

  17. Great start to the Haiku, well done! A bit spooky - I just sat down to start studying/writing them last night, and now I discover you doing them too. Neat!


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