Haiku on the Run

Margaret Ryan
Janet Bergeron
Marilyn Myerson

2020 National Poetry Month Poster, Samantha Aikman

Poetry Month 2023 wraps up with a unique spin on the Haiku form where lines of haiku are interwoven in a short story depicting a jogger’s observations during a morning run. Images of winter in Florida, the sights and sounds of a runner’s trail and even resolution of a final dilemma are expressed in self-conscious haiku interjections.  Margaret Ryan’s combination of association and haiku delivers a fun sprint to the end. The haiku are presented a second time below the prose section to let us read them as standalone pieces. You will notice that Margaret does not strictly adhere to the 5-7-5 structure rule of a traditional Japanese haiku, choosing instead to rely on the secondary guideline for writing in this format, to wit: a moment of observation or insight. Modern haiku can often be structured with far fewer syllables than the originally proscribed seventeen, and the composition of syllables over lines has enjoyed a newly accepted fluidity. A guide for beginning and intermediate poets written by Brian Evans-Jones on his website entitled The Poetry Place clearly describes recent approaches to writing haiku. First time contributor Janet Bergeron and Marilyn Myerson round out our final 2023 poetry blog in traditional haiku mode.

Many thanks to all who shared their personal poetic journey with us this month.— Editors

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The above poster image was created by tenth grader Samantha Aikman from Mount Mansfield Union High School in Richmond, Vermont for the 2020 National Poetry Month Poster Contest for Students. Samantha won the top prize for her submission incorporating line(s) from the poem “Remember” by U. S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo that reflected a celebration of the art of poetry. Aikman chose the following line:   “Remember all is in motion, is growing, is you.” — Editors

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