I read and write a tremendous amount of haiku. Some of which are really good and some of which are relatively horrible.
However, for those of you that are attempting to remember what is a haiku, a typical “Western” haiku is a three line poem, that has five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second and five in the third line, respectively. To haiku purists, this poetic structure doesn’t nearly need to follow the same syllable format, should include a transition or cutting word and pertain to elements of season or time. Now enough of the education lesson.
For me haiku is a method to quickly tell a story and captivate a reader, without the need for rhyme or meter. Therefore, when I come across haiku that makes me pause, laugh or even giggle, I want to share the author with potential readers. One such author is Peyton Price, the author behind Suburban Haiku: Poetic Dispatches From Behind The Picket Fence.
I first came across Peyton on Twitter and I really enjoyed reading her haiku about life in the suburbs, which in fact parallels very closely to my own surroundings. Though our haiku conversations, Peyton was kind enough to send me a copy of her book, which was published by Running Press. Her six inch by six inch,143 page hard-covered book, is the perfect shade of pink and could complement any Room & Board purchased coffee table.
Before I even read chapter one of Suburban Haiku, I smirked when I saw the book was “Dedicated to the Joneses” and that this book was now my guide “to the three stages of suburban existence: Boredom, Disbelief and Assimilation.” I coyly noted that these three stages were very similar to the stages of Kübler-Ross model of the five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. How apropos for suburbia as well.
I grabbed a glass of my favorite Pinot Noir and quickly read my way through 169 haiku, constantly chuckling as I could relate to most of the haiku presented in Peyton’s book.
One of my favorite haiku was one about Twitter:
The full moon last night
was so very beautiful
according to tweets.
Many of my friends simply do not know what day of the week it would be if it wasn’t for Twitter hashtags. For example, today it’s #FollowFriday. Yesterday was #ThrowbackThursday and the day before was #WineWednesday. Where would we be without the hashtag? We’d still be calling it a pound sign.
Peyton Price could be any one of our neighbors simply observing as she walks her dog, thumbing out a new haiku on Twitter of her neighbor picking up his newspaper in just his underwear. So the next time you see her, or me, walking through the neighborhood with a phone in hand, wave back. We might just include you in one of our haiku.
So if you want a real-life read on what it is like to live in suburbia, pick up Suburban Haiku here:
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