As we approach the holidays and enter the season of gift-giving, I'm always trying to find meaningful gifts to give my friends and family. As I reflect on some of the most meaningful gifts I've been fortunate enough to receive over the years, one in particular stands out in my mind; a lovely haiku written by my niece Laura.
Haiku is centuries-old, traditional Japanese poetry consisting of three phrases. The first line must have 5 syllables, the second line must have 7 syllables and the third line must have 5 syllables. Laura's haiku written for me described some of the traits she appreciated about me. I was amazed at how those three little phrases could be so touching and personal. I think this is why people love to write (and read) haiku; they are brief, but deeply meaningful.
Many of us were taught, and maybe even tried our hand at writing haiku in elementary school. This is the beauty of this type of poetry, even children can understand the simple format and and can learn to express themselves by writing haiku. This form of poetry lends itself to a variety of topics. The sky's the limit! A favorite vacation, a best friend, the family pet, the changing seasons or a special holiday could be a good start for a child's haiku, or yours for that matter! To start, begin brainstorming and writing down thoughts about your given topic. Then work your thoughts into phrases using the the 5-7-5 format. The following is a very simple example of this format:
To write a haiku (5)
One must be able to count (7)
To five and seven (5)
As you can see, it's very simple! As I've started learning more about haiku, I've found some nifty sites devoted to haiku writing. One that I love is www.haikuwithteeth.com. It has a handy syllable counter that lets you type in the phrase you want to use and it will tell you exactly how many syllables it contains. Another useful website is www.thesaurus.com, where you can find more interesting words to liven up your writing. I encourage you to try writing haiku! Once you start, you'll see why it has been so popular for so long.
As you search for a personal and meaningful gift to give this holiday season, I hope you'll consider writing haiku! One idea is to include your children and spend some time writing haiku together, and then create a book of poetry to give as gifts...what grandparent wouldn't love that?
I hope you'll share your haiku with me here at NW MOMMA in the comment section below this post. I'd love to hear from you!
Here's the haiku Laura wrote for me:
Emerald green eyes
A courageous heart beats
Holds wisdom inside
I was so touched, I wanted to return the favor, so here's a haiku I wrote for Laura.....
Kindly globe trotter
Speaking languages of love
Steadfast secret twin
And here's one I wrote about Christmas eve at our house......
Sweet children laughing
Smells cozy of fir tree and cider
Peace and love live here
Happy Holidays and Happy Writing!