Hello, my fellow poets! In all honesty, I had intended to introduce a series of sonnet forms beginning today. However, my research uncovered a whopping 199 varieties of the sonnet form, and I have been overwhelmed with trying to absorb all the information, organize it, write sonnets of my own, and prepare it for presentation to you. That said, let’s look at something a little simpler for the next 26 weeks… Alphabet Haiku. Okay, it may not be simpler to write, but at least it’s simpler to explain! 🙂
I’m pretty sure everyone here understands what Haiku is, but just in case you have any questions, I’ll quickly review the basics:
- It is a 3-line poem that records the essence of a single moment in nature (i.e. a leaf falling from the tree).
- When written in English, it generally follows the syllabic pattern 5-7-5, although the rule is that it may have 17 syllables or LESS. When straying from the 5-7-5, the center line should still be longer than the first and last.
- It is untitled (but I title mine for the sake of reference).
- It is unrhymed.
The Alphabet Haiku adds one more rule to the ones listed above:
- Every word in the haiku must begin with the same letter.
To the best of my ability, in my samples I have also adhered to the traditional rules of writing about nature in the moment. If you cannot do that, don’t worry, just write something for fun. That’s what poetry is about anyway. This form is more an exercise of the mind than an art form, in my opinion, although it could be both, with the right combination of words.
Here is my Alphabet Haiku for the letter A…
ablaze and able-bodied,
amply augments all.
Copyright © 2018 Abigail Gronway – All Rights Reserved
It’s Your Turn!
Now it’s time for you to write an Alphabet Haiku. Here are a few suggestions to get you started:
- This week’s letter is ‘A,’ so think of a plant or animal beginning with that letter about which you could write. If that stumps you, then write about anything. The point is to write.
- Go to the dictionary to find words beginning with that letter that would make sense in the context of your poem.
- Watch your syllable count, 5-7-5 or LESS
- Try to write in the moment, but if you can’t that’s okay.
- And of course, when you are finished, share your poem with the rest of us.
Don’t know how? Follow these simple steps…
- Write your blog post.
- Include the tag Alphabet Haiku Challenge or AHC
- Publish your post on your blog.
- Come back here and click the blue button below to add your link to the others.
Note that this link-up will remain open until August 4th at midnight (UTC-5), and we will use the same link-up for A, B, and C.
To find more samples and to learn from those who taught me, check out these sites. All links open in a separate tab so you can easily find your way back here.
Poet’s Collective ~ where I learned about the Alphabet Haiku
Shadow Poetry ~ a very good article describing the haiku and senryu
A, B, C of Haiku ~ a collection of Alphabet Haiku found on Breath, A Collection of Haiku
A Haiku #atozchallenge ~ a fun twist on the alphabet theme, these are riddle poems, where the poem itself is a clue to help you think of a word beginning with a certain letter
H Is for Haiku ~ book review for an enchanting collection of haiku for children, located on Jama’s Alphabet Soup. This is not Alphabet Haiku per se, but it is nonetheless fun and interesting.
8 Replies to “Alphabet Haiku Challenge ~ A”
I am trying to write a good alphabet haiku, but it’s really difficult!
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I understand. I made much use of the dictionary, and some of mine (as you’ll see when we get to them) turned out rather nonsensical, especially toward the end of the alphabet. It was a fun exercise, but I doubt I’ll ever write more than one. 🙂
“This form is more an exercise of the mind than an art form, in my opinion, although it could be both, with the right combination of words.” – Abigail Gronway
Total agreement. I often find haiku (not just the alphabet kind) “a thin and meager broth of grass and stone,” but cannot resist attempting it. I enjoy writing haiku, and tanka which allows me just a scooch more wiggle room. I must also admit that I find it overly dependent upon interpretation, much significance place on things not written. But that is the “art” part, isn’t it? I like that I can communicate a single thought or observation in such a compact way. It is sort of like Twitter’s former 140 character limit. It’s only limiting until you realize how much it frees you from.
say what you came to say,
Contemplating if I can resist this exercise of alliteration.
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By all means, jump in! And thanks so much for your comment.