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Richard Wright Loved Haiku. What?

I’m not even sure where to start with this post. Apparently, Richard Wright, one of the preeminent writers of the 20th Century, author of Native Son, was really passionate about haiku.

I’m not a haiku kind of guy. For that matter, I’m not really into poetry that much either. Though I know they are a serious matter for the Japanese, I’ve always thought haiku were the little booger-faced brother of the literary world. So seeing Richard Wright so into them, enough to write an entire book of haiku (Haiku: This Other World), is, well…interesting.

I found this site that displays a lot of Wright’s haiku. A few of my favorites:

1) In the falling snow
A laughing boy holds out his palms
Until they are white.

2) A bloody knife blade
Is being licked by a cat
At hog-killing time.

3) With indignation
A little girl spanks her doll, –
The sound of spring rain.

Not bad. Not bad at all, Richard Wright. Who knew haiku could be so thought provoking?

I’m inspired! Check out my haiku:

I need a bookshelf
Bigger than the one I have
For all of these books.

So there you go. Haiku on a Monday morning. What better way to start your day?

Do you haiku?

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(Image: Wikimedia Commons)

15 Comments Post a comment
  1. No, I don’t haiku.
    Never in all of my life.
    Hold on–I just lied.


    February 13, 2012
  2. This is perhaps the
    most interesting factoid
    you’ve uncovered yet

    I love haiku. In fact I have a table top set of Haikubes, dice with words on them that you roll and use to create haiku. Very zenly satisfying.


    February 13, 2012
  3. I’ve been trotting this one out for a while. It was inspired by Monty Python.

    I hang my cat by
    its hairy tale and beat it
    like a dirty rug.


    February 13, 2012
    • Debbie #

      One way to clean a cat.


      July 25, 2017
  4. My school-age children prefer haiku as a creative writing assignment because it’s so easy — just count the syllables. Can’t say I enjoy it so much myself, though.


    February 13, 2012
  5. Dominick Sabalos #

    I’m not the world’s biggest haiku fan, but I don’t specifically dislike it either. The times I do enjoy it tend to be when they’re not just ‘generic’ haiku, but have some other (arbitrary) restriction put on them as well. The dual restrictions make it interesting for some reason.

    For example scifaiku:

    Starship spirals inwardly
    Blue photons escape

    Although scifaiku doesn’t always stick to the 5-7-5.

    Or ThinkGeek’s collection of user-submitted “techie haiku”:

    Rose: red. Violet: blue.
    Haikuception: a poem
    within a haiku.

    Error 404:
    Your haiku could not be found.
    Try again later.


    February 13, 2012
    • That last one could also be renamed as “Geekku” I think.


      February 13, 2012
      • Dominick Sabalos #

        When I read haiku,
        I hear it in the voice of
        William Shatner.

        I wish I was good enough to come up with these, instead of just quoting them.

        There was a Danish guy, Piet Hein, who invented a style of short-form poem called a grook. Some of them are annoying, but some are really good. Maybe they would appeal to you more.

        Well, it’s plain
        and simple to express
        Err and err and err again
        but less and less and less.


        February 13, 2012
  6. Now it is snowing
    if it sticks perhaps no school
    but the ground is wet

    Not that great I know
    but that was my first attempt
    so I tried again


    February 18, 2012
  7. “I’ve always thought haiku were the little booger-faced brother of the literary world.”

    HA!!!! This line made me snicker.


    March 1, 2012

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