Today we sail and navigate through the word ‘poetry’ (a collection of poems).
Here are some definitions by various conventional dictionaries on the word ‘poem’: At one end of the spectrum a ‘poem’ is defined as a piece of writing in which the words are chosen for their sound and the images they suggest, not just for their obvious meanings. The words are arranged in separate lines, usually with a repeated rhythm, and often the lines rhyme at the end. In summary it can bear the following characteristics:
1. A verbalcompositiondesigned to conveyexperiences,ideas, or emotions in a vividandimaginativeway,characterized by theuse of languagechosenforitssoundandsuggestivepowerand by theuse of literarytechniquessuch as meter,metaphor,andrhyme.
2. A composition in verseratherthan in prose:wrotebothproseandpoems.
3. A literarycompositionwrittenwith an intensity or beauty of languagemorecharacteristic of poetrythan of prose.
It’s origin: [Frenchpoème, fromOldFrench,fromLatinpoēma, fromGreekpoiēma, frompoiein, to create
At the other end of the spectrum, it can come in the form of ‘free verse’ (vers libre in French). The characteristics of free verse is that it is not confined in any form.Free verse poems have no regular meter and rhythm, do not follow a proper rhyme scheme as such; these poems are based on normal pauses and natural rhythmical phrases as compared to the artificial constraints of normal poetry.
Where does a haiku fit in? Because haiku originates from Japan and is written in the Japanese language, the most an English writer can do is to follow the number of lines and the count of syllabus in each line. For example, I adopt the format with three lines of 5 syllables/ 7 syllables/ 5 syllables. The haiku usually talks about nature. In the following example, I describe an old man observing the signs of youth and life as depicted by Spring time:
seeing a wee bird
bravely perching on new twig
stirs up his old heart
I like to add original visual images too to enhance the presentation. Sometimes I add audio rhythm too as I am led in my spirit to read it aloud. (I can’t find a close-up bird picture today so I use an older picture taken of a bird flying high and you can see it if you enlarge the view).