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.