When I was in elementary school we did a poetry unit and had to write a haiku. All of our haikus were published in a mimeographed book that each student got to take home at the end of the year.
I, like most of the other students, wrote a haiku about Dogs.
I don’t know why I wrote about Dogs. I don’t particularly like Dogs now, and I didn’t particularly like Dogs then. Probably I wrote about Dogs because everyone was writing about Dogs.
One thing I remember about that book is that I misspelled a word in my haiku about Dogs and I was so embarrassed because now everyone had a copy of the book of haikus and mine had a misspelled word in it and probably everyone thought I was stupid.
Also I really prided myself on my spelling prowess in elementary school and I couldn’t believe that I misspelled a word on my haiku, which is like a form of poetry that uses the least number of words and how could I have misspelled one of them? Idiot!
The word I misspelled was “barking.” I spelled it like this: f-a-r-t-i-n-g
Ha ha, no I didn’t. I just left out the “n” – “barkig”
What a dummy.
Note: During the writing of this post I was curious about whether my memory was correct and I actually did misspell the word I was thinking about, or if it was someone else. How much more embarrassing would it have been if the young poet I remembered and am now skewering for having terrible spelling skills was not me but in fact one of my classmates? Who has found me on the internet and secretly reads my blog and is about to connect with me by leaving a comment or a note on Facebook or even an email that says Hey, Andrea! Remember me from elementary school? I read your blog and think that you are truly a gifted writer! Let me pay you a million dollars! They would be offended and that would be tragic for me.
I found the book. It was just two pieces of paper stapled together. Not quite a book, you see. Imagine my surprise when I saw that they weren’t even haikus! They were Cinquains.
Do you know the art of Cinquain? Well according to my research*, it is a form of poetry that uses the subject of the poem as the title and first line, and also the last line. In between there are three other lines that describe the thing you are poem-ing about.
Settle down, now. I was not a poetry major, okay, Angie Dickinson?
|Clearly I meant Emily Dickinson|
photo via Doctor Macro
Here is my Cinquain:
|If someone didn't know what a Dog was and only had this cinquain to describe one, |
that person would think that a Dog is the most annoying animal ever.
I say that's fair.
But this post is about haikus, not cinquains, and certainly not about me reminiscing about my life as an elementary school student fifteen years ago or slyly asking people to send me money. I am reminded that haikus are “short poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience.” (from wikiHow)
They are also specific in their use of syllables, specifically in a five-seven-five pattern. And they typically have just three lines. But I can’t stop at three lines. I could never stop at three lines. It’s a good thing I never tried cocaine. OMG THAT SOUNDS LIKE CINQUAIN
I was inspired today by the leaves that I still see falling outside, despite the trees possessing no leaves to speak of. It’s a mystery of nature, the falling of the leaves. It’s also sort of maddening.
Haiku Series about Leaves
by Andrea Mowery
The trees are all bare
We raked the leaves just last week
More are falling down.
I wish I was rich
So I could hire someone
To rake all those leaves.
Ha ha, just kidding.
I haven’t raked any leaves
Raking is man’s work.
My husband does it
Sometimes the kids will help him
While I hide inside.
I don’t even care
Because they haven’t helped me
Clean the house this month.
*information obtained by reading through two pages of elementary school cinquains from 30 years ago.
This post inspired by:
Prompt #3: Write a haiku about what you see out your window.