I thought I’d try something new. For those who’ve read a lot of my poetry, you might have noticed that I prefer free verse. It’s—well—freeing. I like to use whatever imagery I want in whatever way it comes to me. But every now and then, I like the challenge of structure. It’s not so much limiting as it is intellectually stimulating.
Of course, writing three haikus may be a lot easier than trying to write one villanelle. For those who aren’t familiar with poetry (hi, Mom!), haikus originated in Japan and are three lines long with five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last. They tend to be about nature.
Villanelles (or as I like to call them, vanillas) have a repeating first line from the first stanza, a repeating last line from the first stanza, and a set amount of stanzas and lines. It’s super complicated. (Seriously HOW do people write villanelles? I’ve tried several times, and I can’t get past the second stanza.)
This particular set of haikus I based off my siblings and me. There are three of us in the family—my older brother, me, and my little sister. And while we may be related, we’re each different in our own ways. Hence, the following poems, Dawn, Noon, and Midnight.
She sprinkles powdered
sugar on strudels, lemon
juice into your eye.
Earbuds drown the noise
of chatter beneath some tune
of an hour to spare.
Call of cicadas,
not the phone—now hang up and
listen, you’re alone.
Let’s chat! Which of the three haikus did you like best? Care to take a guess which one I might be? Which one are you most like?