April 1st, 2009


National Poetry Month -- Haiku 1

I love April.


It is my birthday month and my husband's birthday month.
It is wildflower season.
It is spring.

And it is National Poetry Month.

In the past, I've complained that poetry is relegated to just one lowly month, but this year I'm choosing to embrace the fact that we -- as a nation of kids and grown-ups, writers and readers, students and teachers and booksellers and bus riders -- celebrate poetry in earnest for 30 days straight. Because it's that meaningful and worthwhile and joyous and true.

Here are some of the ways I'm celebrating this year:

Borzoi Reader Poem-A-Day emails
Insightful interviews with powerful Poetry Makers at The Miss Rumphius Effect
Inspiring new poems by 30 poets over 30 days at GottaBook
Poem in Your Pocket Day

Plus, I thought I oughta do a little of my own thing, which is why I've committed to penning a haiku each day in April.
I plan to post them all here because that'll keep me accountable.
But really, I'm looking forward to it -- as a daily mediation -- so I don't think I'll try to get out of it.

I recently listened to a moving interview with poet Marie Howe in which she talked about trying to live a more simple, scaled-down life with an emphasis on "the actual". And that's what haiku is to me -- something tangible in the hand and in the heart.

I can't pretend to understand all the very nuanced rules of the form (that go way beyond 5, 7 and 5 syllables) but I reckon I'll understand them better 30 days from now. In the meantime, I'll just be using the form to encounter a bit of the actual each day.

Starting now.

Haiku 1

Wind blows the door in;
everyone considers it,
even the house finch

-- Liz Garton Scanlon