I H8 National Haiku Month


One reason to dread February: “National Haiku Month” and the abominations committed against this ancient form by well-meaning syllable-counters too presumptive and lazy to get it right or even give a shit.

While it may seem petty to ponder this subject as the world burns around us, “haiku” stripped of its technical and thematic elements hits my ear more sharply than fingernails on a chalkboard. It’s like hitting a piano with a baseball bat and calling it music.

I’m not suggesting that I’m any sort of master of the art. Far from it. But I do have a deep appreciation for this subtle and complex poetic tradition, and for 11/12ths of the year I don’t give it a lot of thought. And then, every February 1, my facebook feed fills up with measured grotesques, soulless and tedious evocations, self-consciously pithy (more often just banal) observations transferred into 5-7-5 syllable structure.

My wife says I should be better, that I should revel in the fact that, for a month, folks are toying with and enjoying language, and I get that, but Christ-On-A-Crutch, people. If you don’t give a happy hoot about what you’re doing, or doing it right, why do it at all?




About JunkChuck

Native, Militant Westsylvanian (the first last best place), laborer, gardener, and literary hobbyist (if by literary you mean "hack"). I've had a bunch of different blogs, probably four, due to a recurring compulsion to start over. This incarnation owes to a desire to dredge up the best entries of the worst little book of hand-scrawled poems I could ever dream of writing, salvageable excerpts from fiction both in progress and long-abandoned. and a smattering of whatever the hell seems to fit at any particular moment. At first blush, I was here just to focus on old, terrible verse, but I reserve the right to include...anything. Maybe everything, certainly my love of pulp novels growing garlic, the Pittsburgh Steelers and howling at the moon--both figuratively and, on rare occasions, literally.
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2 Responses to I H8 National Haiku Month

  1. leggypeggy says:

    The image gave me a good laugh. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think a lot of people see haiku as “easy,” because it’s short. Maybe they are first exposed to the form in school, for the same reason? You’re right — so many cringe-worthy word-strings…

    Liked by 1 person

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