My friend TJ McGuire recently released his first collection of poetry, Midlife Chrysler. In a related interview, he held that poetry matters in modern America because readers like its compact format. They want “to be able to ingest a high-quality gourmet meal in one sitting, put their hands behind their heads and feel completely satisfied… because of its brevity, one can revisit [a poem] and be wonderstruck as often as time allows. If Time is one of humankind’s most precious commodities, then (as the arts are concerned) one could consider poetry as one of Time’s most valuable distributor of goods. Poetry delivers. It delivers fast and hard. Therein lies its power.”
In the world of gourmet poetry, HAIKU would be a canapé, a gorgeous bite-sized morsel to be savored. Traditionally, haiku are descriptive nature poems that aim to capture a scene in just seventeen syllables, divided 5 – 7 – 5 over its three lines. Today’s more flexible rules allow
a variety of subject matter and slightly altered syllable counts, as long as the first and last lines are shorter than the middle one.
swollen with fourth set of twins
may deliver today
A fuchsia sunrise
shimmers on slapdash puddles
from yesterday’s rain
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