Reading Time: 2 minutes
Years ago, when I was a teen, and learning about metered verse and writing poetry, I learned about Haiku.
According to Merriam Webster, a haiku is defined as:
An unrhymed verse form of Japanese origin having three lines containing usually five, seven, and five syllables respectively.– Merriam Webster
A haiku is usually and traditionally associated with nature. However, through the years, I’ve observed pieces using the 5-7-5 format, that never took on the name of being a haiku.
When I was in high school, I sometimes broke from tradition, when writing haiku, and added things not included in nature, like pop culture, and other subjects. I started calling these types of poems Urban Haiku.
Here’s an example of an urban haiku:
Loudly popping gum
She bops her head to music
Drowning out her thoughts
None of this has nature. It merely talks about a girl listening to loud music and chewing gum. It hints that she’s doing this to help with all the thoughts in her head.
I know I’m not the only one that has “coined” this type of haiku, and wouldn’t claim to have coined it, but in my neck of the woods, and in the early 1990s, I never heard of anyone making such a sub genre of haiku.
In fact, it wasn’t until the 2010s, that I started reading and hearing more haiku classified under this sub genre. I even started to hear reference to it being called “urban haiku.”
I think it is great. Poetry has both metered and un-metered. It doesn’t really have to have a specific style, but it does have to be coherent. For those who like to keep a strict tradition when it comes to haiku, this sub genre can be a nice outlet to exercise your keen skill on such short metered verse.