Many of us blog not because we think that our lives are just so darned out of the ordinary or because we have such lofty insights that the rest of the world just has to know, but because we want to be disciplined about keeping a journal of sorts and to follow our thoughts through to some logical conclusion. Another reason that I have taken up blogging is that I would like to become a better writer. And by better I mean that I want to be able to express ideas and experiences clearly using words in such a way that the reader will truly be able to understand a thought that I am having or even experience it in some way.
To that end, I have a few books that I am using, possibly on a daily(ish?) basis. (I notice some definite hedging in that sentence.) One of the books is called Ordinary Genius: A Guide for the Poet Within by Kim Addonizio. This book looks great inside, but I have to admit that this book won out over its competition because of the great cover. One of the first exercises that she suggests is to write Haiku. I like Haiku. For me, it is not intimidating and I tend to be a person of few words. I enjoy paring things down. (Which you can't tell by some of my recent posts.) Almost anyone can put down three lines with 5 syllables, 7 syllables and 5 syllables.
But Addonizio also points out that there is an American form of this called the American sentence, a phrase coined by Allen Ginsberg, which is just a single line containing the 17 syllables that would be in a Haiku. Again, not overly intimidating. The author says that a great poem should surprise and delight, contain mystery and meaning, and be set to a rhythm that sings. So here are some of the lines that I jotted down this morning while I was waiting for some friends in a coffee shop, some in Haiku form, some in American sentence form. I'm going to invite you to write one as well and leave it in my comments box. Please! It will only take a minute or two. It doesn't have to be great or contain all of the elements above, but it just might.
Ten young people sit at a table talking and drinking coffee.
Autumn leaves glowing
with the long summer's final
I would like to paint the integrity of a lonely winter tree.
Hope to hear from someone!