Wednesday, March 05, 2008

3:16 Haiku

Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry which has been Westernized by Americans and others.

I read an article not long ago which defined "haiku" as any poem consisting of three lines with 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively.

Reading the lengthy article on the subject at Wikipedia has subsequently made me aware that that definition is a bit simplistic. Nevertheless, it also seems apparent from the article that the definition of the haiku form of poetry has become blurry, in part because of intrinsic differences between English and Japanese cultures and languages.

Some American poets have indeed created poetry based primarily on the assumptions expressed in the first paragraph of this blog. Therefore, regardless of whether or not it's "authentic" haiku, I thought I'd try my hand at writing some poems which met those parameters. I ended up writing ten poems of that type in all. Almost all of those poems had a Christian theme (which, in itself, would probably be deemed inauthentic by most Japanese people, since Buddhism is the predominant religion in that country).

Here's an "American haiku" poem which I created, based on John 3:16 from the Bible:

God so loved the world
that He gave His only Son
just to die for you.

Aside from the necessity of dropping the word "begotten" and adding the final line, the poem practically wrote itself.

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