A February Poetry Challenge
Last year in February I wrote 28 tiny love poems on post-its. Valentine?s Day is coming once again and I?ve once again decided to write a poem a day in February to celebrate. Last year I was surprised by how many people enjoyed my tiny poems. I guess there is something simple and sweet about the concept of love ? and that translates well to short poems.
A Tiny Love Poem a Day
Love compressed onto post-its
This year I decided to give my poems a twist and use the haiku form. However, you may have noticed that my first poem in the series isn?t a strict haiku. Standard haiku form follows the following syllable count: 5/7/5. Haiku typically contain a kigo, or seasonal reference, and a kireji, or verbal caesura (cutting word). You may notice that I will sometimes invert the form to 7/5/7. I may also explore similar forms of tanka, senryu, ch?ka, haikai, renku, and hokku. I love playing with traditional forms and tweaking them. Haiku has come so far from where it began that while I love the classical form, I also acknowledge that it?s a framework, a jumping-off point for inspiration.
Haiku hails from Japan and gained popularity in the 1600s with the poet Bash?. My personal favorite poems of the form are jisei or Japanese death poems, written by poets before they died or at the end of their lives. But haiku also are commonly about love, like this one by Takahama Kyoshi (1874?1959):
Nizi tachiteTachimachi kimi noAru gotoshi
The rainbow standsAs if you are hereIn a moment.
I love you like mountain snowso fresh, so fallenbut the path waits for breaking
Thank goodness for youThe subtle way you smile inFebruary sun
I spoke you into lifeMy words unbraiding your bonesDon?t you need me now?
Together in climeWe two stones stood for decadesslanting ever near
Why don?t you see me?Invisible like starlightI ping between skies
Invisible like starlightIt takes foreverTo get your attention, dear
It takes foreverFor you to touch meLike I wish you would
For you to touch meI have to traverse planetsWhy don?t you see me?
Take me into spaceWhere no one can hear us screamHold me between stars
I have wanted yousince we were born in shadowDemon loverboy
Your breath on my neck . . . Let?s hold each other tightlyand pray for new death
Hey y?all! Thanks for reading along with my February tiny-poem-a-day challenge. The hardest part about writing such a small poem is realizing that the story is in the details. Love isn?t these big grand gestures. It?s not always pretty or perfect. It?s the tiny things that get you through the day.
And you may have noticed, I didn?t make my goal of finishing my 28 days in February. That?s also part of being a writer. Sometimes, you try and fail 🙂 but I hope you enjoy the ones I did get around to posting.
Holly Lyn Walrath is a freelance editor based out of Houston, Texas. She holds a B.A. in English from The University of Texas and a Master?s in Creative Writing from the University of Denver. She provides editing services for writers and organizations of all genres, experiences, and backgrounds, but enjoys working with new writers best. Find her on Twitter or visit her website.