When I was an elementary school student (maybe 4th or 5th grade or so?), my teacher began a unit in poetry, and my classmates and I started to learn all about it. I was not crazy about poetry. It was difficult to understand, and even more difficult to write. I was so confused by most of it!
Why was poetry so confusing to me? I didn't know why at the time, but I think I've figured it out now....It was because it didn't follow any of the rules of writing that I had been taught so far!
Think about it. Ever since 1st grade, I had been taught that I must write in complete sentences which contained a subject and predicate. Every sentence had to begin with a capital letter, and end with punctuation. Sentences had to be put together into paragraphs that make sense. Writing was logical and orderly. Writing had rules.
I liked orderly and logical. I liked rules. I was good at following rules because I knew what to do with them! I always followed the rules, and everything turned out just fine. :-)
Suddenly, along came poetry, and before I knew it, all the rules of writing were being thrown out the window! Some forms of poetry made a little more sense to me...couplets, AABB rhyme schemes, cinquains...ones that had a pattern. Patterns were a lot like rules. I could do those. :-) But then there was free verse poetry....I had no idea what to do with that! :-o I didn't have to write in complete sentences if I didn't want to? I didn't have to use capital letters if I didn't want to? And I didn't even have to use punctuation?!? Say whaaaat? My poor little rule-following mind was blown.
Then I learned about haiku. Haiku consisted of three lines: the 1st line contained five syllables, the 2nd line had seven syllables, and the 3rd had five. Haiku poetry was most often about nature, but it didn't have to be. The 3rd line often related back to the first line, but it didn't have to. The only real non-negotiable thing about haiku was that it had to have five syllables, seven syllables, five syllables. Haiku had a formula. IT. HAD. A. FORMULA. Good old dependable haiku. I was in rule-following-Haiku Heaven! :-)
Is it any wonder that haiku was my favorite form of poetry...and still is to this day? :-)
In honor of that, here is a haiku that I wrote just for for today:
On and off drizzle,
Gray skies, soggy ground, wet feet,
March in Ohio.
(I didn't say that it was a PRETTY haiku, did I?) :-P
JudyK March 6, 2017