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Write a Haiku (or a Poem)

Today, I came across something I'd written a few years ago on a notecard:

"writing poetry is a word puzzle with an infinite number of solutions."

I think it holds up.

I have trouble with poetry. Poetry is difficult to read. Poetry is difficult to write.

In spite of that, I write poetry. I began writing poetry a few years ago. I have also written haikus.

Traditionally, a haiku is a Japanese unrhymed poetic form of 17 syllables in three lines of 5, 7, 5 respectively. The haiku first emerged in Japanese literature during the 17th century as a terse reaction to elaborate poetic traditions. Traditionally, the writers of haiku have attempted to distill a poignant experience that includes a natural phenomena, seasonal reference or "kigo" and creates a subject shift ...two juxtaposed ideas. This approach was popularized by the 17th century poet Basho. After the 19th century, haiku subjects have expanded beyond natural themes.

The straightforward format of the haiku is what I find exciting and beautiful. After Tom's passing, it was a way for me to express my grief in an art form that expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. It was challenging and creative and especially in the early period of bereavement, I had trouble focusing on anything for very long but had a need to write about my emotions. So I wrote some haikus and bad poems as well as all kinds of journal entries. I made recordings using the voice memo app on my phone and all of these outlets helped me to process my experience...helped me to mourn. All the bits and pieces of paper and recordings have also provided me a record of that time.

The following are a couple of examples of my writing following the death of my son Tom. Whether they are "good" or "bad" is irrelevant. They are a record of my experience -- my grief, loss, art, self-care, and surrender.

in my tent of blue

youth skips, rocks hurl, sand flings -- shells

in my tent so blue.

Jeanne Fullerton, 2019

I miss you

even though

you sometimes

paced like a

polar bear

stress patterns

of Beethoven

again and again

on the piano

of my heart

Jeanne Fullerton, 2019

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