Why write haiku?

janakaMaybe you are interested in compression, in letting your words take less space in order to make their impact greater, but–you don’t like writing haiku. Or you don’t know whether you do.

Frequency asked Janaka Stucky, who will be teaching the Haiku Intensive on December 15, Why should writers who don’t like writing haiku take this class?

He says,

I attribute my own success and critical eye in poetry to the lessons I learned from haiku (which I spent years practicing). Moreover, you can (and in class, I will) trace many modern schools of poetry back to the influence haiku had on Western poets in the early 20th century. Essentially, the point of this class is not to get people to become haiku poets, but to apply the lessons haiku can teach us to other writing—from blank verse to novels. What I’d really tell someone who said that they don’t like writing haiku is that they don’t know what haiku really is.

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