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Monday, November 24, 2008


While in the car at 4am yesterday morning--we were headed to watch the sunrise--my family got to chatting about Haiku. We even wrote one. Check out our early morning creation:

Good morning.
It is dark outside.
We're driving.
Bad Haiku
Holzmanns 11/23/08

Since one of my nephews was in the car, I thought it was a good "teaching moment"--or, at least, an opportunity to show off <smile>--and so I explained how in English our poetry revolves around rhyme/meter, how Haiku revolves around specific syllable use, and how Hebrew poetry involves repetition of letters at the beginning of each line. For instance, English poetry repeats sounds:

The sun is shining in the morn,A
As if the world was new, just born.A
We see the sky, all blue and clear.B
The waves are close; they feel so near.B

But in Hebrew, the "AA.. BB..." scheme is literal:

AAgain I see the silky sun
AAs it shines down on me.
BBeneath the waves
BBlue fish swim.

My dad, who had been listening, suddenly remarked, "After all these years of studying English, I just learned something: Poetry is writing using specific constraints to make it artistic."

That was a much better explanation than what I got in Junior Year's Honors English: Poetry is whatever is not prose.

My dad went on to comment that using such a definition would make even the chiastic structure a form of poetry. And that makes sense, even if no one has officially labeled it so. And so, I'll label it officially:

The chiastic structure is a form of poetry.

In honor of today's ceremony, I would like to share a poem with you:

Poetry is wordsA
Which follow rulesB
And sometimes patterns.C
The ciastic patternC
Uses rulesB
To make a poem.A

May you enjoy poetry, of all forms, today.

~Luke Holzmann
Filmmaker, Writer, Expectant Father


Anonymous said...

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mideastmom said...

And when I see this definition in some future LA IG that I buy, I'll know where it came from. :-)

Luke Holzmann said...

Jocelyn, I'm glad you found it informative. Thanks so much for stopping by!

Mideastmom, I wouldn't be surprised if it showed up in an LA IG... but my dad no longer has as much input into those as he once did <smile>.



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