April is National Poetry Month. During the month of April you can learn traditional poetry, invented poetry and Japanese poetry forms. There are many types of forms to explore and learn.
A Good Day by Kait Rokowski
“You and I might have different definitions of a good day”, reads Kait Rokowski performing “A Good Day” for the first time, at the Soap Boxing poetry slam at The Artists’ Quarter in Saint Paul, MN.
Haiku, the worlds shortest poetry form
Shadow Poetry defines Japanese poetry ‘Haiku’ as one of two definitions:
1. Japanese Haiku is an unrhymed Japanese poem that records the essence of a moment in nature with human nature. Traditionally, this Japanese poetry has 17 kana, the English of a syllable. If you know how to speak and write Japanese then your poem will be a real Japanese haiku. It usually consists of three lines of 5/7/5 (5 kana in the first line, 7 kana in the second line, and 5 kana in the third line) totaling seventeen kana.
2) An adaptation of this kind of Japanese poetry, usually written in three lines totaling 17 syllables or less can be confusing for those who do not know the Japanese language, since kana cannot be compared to an english syllable.
For type 2 haiku poets it is not necessary to write the traditional three lines of 5/7/5 kana, you can do it if you want but it isn’t necessary, it won’t make your haiku more of a haiku than those with more syllables. Shadow Poetry page says, “An ideal haiku should be short/long/short – but that depends on the haiku itself. There is nothing wrong with 5/7/5, if that is what you want to write. However, the majority of modern haiku in most of the journals are not 5/7/5. That doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have its place.”
Advice from Shadow Poetry, “Break rules out of experience, not inexperience.” They explain that after you’ve been writing and studying the haiku form for a while, you can break a rule, if it is needed to improve the quality of an individual non-Japanese kana haiku. First, you must learn and practice the rules then after you get plenty of experience you may break an occasional rule.
Haiku Animation by Tiffany Davis
Traditional poetry form list from Shadow Poetry:
Invented poetry forms list
Invented Poetry Forms from Shadow Poetry:
The 7/5 Trochee
The Blitz Poem
The Compound Word Verse
The Florette #2
Licentia Rhyme Form
The Mirror Sestet
Parallelogram de Crystalline
RemyLa Rhyme Form
Wrapped Refrain #2