Is one form of poetry “greener“, that is more environmentally friendly than, another? Today I will assert that Haiku is environmentally friendly poetry. Why?
- Well, for one-thing, this form is by its very essence economical: At 3 lines, 17 syllables, nothing is wasted.
- Also, Haiku is rooted in nature. Each poem connects us to nature and human nature.
- And finally, and most importantly, Haiku is poetry of awareness. It demands present-moment connection with self and the natural world. I believe that the more we operate from this perspective, on the page and off, the more likely we are to behave in Earth-friendly ways.
In honor of Earth Day, I invite you to try your hand at Haiku. Oh, and don’t worry overly much about the syllable count. Aim for a short poem, in which you show (rather than tell) of a moment when you really experienced the natural world and your connection to it. And in that last line, add a little twist or surprise.
Here’s a Haiku I wrote yesterday during a workshop with Jeannie Martin, who taught a Haiku workshop at the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in Salem, Mass.
April 21, 2012 Haiku
Pink and white blossoms
puddle on the sidewalk,