Haiku, Anyone?

Posted on Categories Public

April is National Poetry Month.  As Marquette University President Scott Pilarz, S.J., noted, poetry is “one of life’s pleasures – a gift to our spirits.” Poetry surely can speak to us and for us in beautiful ways.

You don’t have to be a “professional” to create poetry that’s fun to read.  One of the guilty pleasures of many a legal writing professor is to craft haiku.  Occasionally, the legal writing professors’ listserv lights up with people exchanging haiku on topics from serious to silly, on legal education, on law, and on life.

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry. There are certain specific qualities that make a poem a haiku, but among the legal writing professors the only quality is that the poem adhere to the 5/7/5 structure, a fitting requirement for professors who encourage precision and concision in writing. That is, the haiku contains three lines. The first line contains five syllables; the second, seven syllables; and the third, five syllables.

I’m sharing one my haikus, written a year or so ago at the tail end of a long conference period. I used only the magnetic words on my office filing cabinet, so I was a bit limited with my choices.  Nonetheless, I suspect many in the law school community can relate, especially at this time of the year.

Wild thoughts wandering

From the morning through the night

I could use some sleep.

Celebrate National Poetry Month and share a haiku of your own.  It’s good practice in writing concisely.

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Haiku, Anyone?”

  1. I found this law haiku on the WSJ Law Blog:

    Like sleeping tigers Hungry justices dream of Feasting on verdicts.

    -Neil McCabe

    http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2006/11/30/japanese-poetry-and-the-law/.

    Here is another law and haiku website featuring haiku about the Supreme Court: http://lawhaiku.com/.

    A few years ago, National Geographic printed an article on Basho, the 17th-century Japanese haiku poet. The author, Howard Norman, retraced a five-month trek that Basho made through Japan. The article is fascinating, and the photos in the article are exquisite.

    http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/02/bashos-trail/howard-norman-text.html.

    The author gave the following description of haiku and its connection to a form of poetry called haikai: “In Basho’s time, the first verse in haikai was evolving into a poetic idiom of its own—haiku, whose unrhymed phrases of five, seven, and five syllables are meant to capture the essence of nature. Basho published his first haiku under various names, each having some personal significance.”

  2. My 1L Year in Haiku:

    9/7/2011

    Company coughs up
    cash for ads vowing no flu.
    -Carbolic Smoke Ball

    10/20/2011

    Before proximate
    cause, Torts was a breeze. Now it’s
    hard. I blame Palsgraf.

    3/27/2012

    International
    Shoe said “minimum contacts.”
    But what does that mean?

    4/9/2012

    Undergrads, take your
    calculators and get out
    of our Reading Room!

Join the Conversation

We reserve the right not to publish comments based on such concerns as redundancy, incivility, untimeliness, poor writing, etc. All comments must include the first and last name of the author in the NAME field and a valid e-mail address.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Marquette University Law School - Contact Us
Marquette University Law School, P.O. Box 1881, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53201 (414) 288-7090
Street Address: Marquette University Law School, 1215 W. Michigan St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53233

About the Blog | Comments Policy

The opinions expressed here are those of the individual authors and do not represent the views of Marquette University or its Law School.