The Haiku Challenge

Hello, everyone! Can anyone guess what has been on my mind lately?

If you guessed something along the lines of “the prospects of my future,” you are definitely not wrong, but the answer I am looking for in this particular instance is “haikus.” A haiku, according to Dictionary.com, is the following: “A major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.” In actuality, though, the kinds of haikus that have caught my interest over the past five months or so are ones regarding different subjects, such as the Super Bowl. 

This past February, one of my proudest moments of 2017 occurred, which was when NPR retweeted a haiku I wrote about the Super Bowl. I am only sort of kidding about it being a highlight of my year, by the way. Even to today, I cannot help but feel a fondness toward the genre of poetry. More information about ‘#SuperBowlHaiku’ can be found on the websites of Poynter and WBUR; the formation of the hashtag is really quite interesting.

Screen Shot 2017-02-05 at 9.55.50 PM
Proof, in the form of a screenshot that I took the night the retweet occurred

For some reason (maybe the validation I felt from the aforementioned, simple retweet), months later, I came up with the idea of using haikus to describe my day-to-day life. Yes, they would not be traditional, but using these short poems to both vent and create tiny journal entries could certainly be a fun experiment. After a bit of internal debate in regards to how to execute my plan, including considering writing a few haikus each day for a week, I decided to spend a day writing haikus for every waking hour.

On Tuesday, May 23, 2017, I put my plan into action. As I knew I would be in my odd, approximately 10-day break between semesters, I thought choosing this day of mostly relaxation would be a great choice. Each of the fifteen haikus I ended up writing displayed my genuine thoughts, with varying levels of skill and nuance (with not much of the latter) showcased throughout them; thus, the next portion of this blog post will display each haiku I wrote, along with a brief explanation of every single one. Enjoy!


12:08 AM

The haiku challenge

Haiku for every hour

Write them when awake

Here it is: my first haiku! As shown by the timestamp, I wrote this one quite early in the day, right before I went to bed. Within this short poem, I hoped to essentially describe the rules of my challenge.

10:15 AM

Feeling insecure

The raindrops seem that way too

Late breakfast will do

I woke up fairly late on this day (are you jealous?), and so I did not get around to writing another haiku until about 10:00 AM. At this time, I believe I was just sitting in my comfy purple chair, eating cereal, combatting my apprehension about the future, and glancing outside at the damp sidewalk outside. In other words, I was in my natural state.

11:09 AM

TV-watching fun

Hot coffee would be splendid

Maybe I should move

I did not move much between the 10-11 AM hour, as stated in the last line of my second haiku. I watched Master of None for a while, which was definitely enjoyable, and then realized that I should probably make myself some coffee before my inevitable caffeine withdrawal. To be honest, I think that writing this haiku is actually what reminded and pushed me to do so. Thanks, haiku!

12:11 PM

The mind, body, and soul

Paused them to write syllables

Play for well-being

I did some yoga next, and the mentioning of the importance of the mind, body, and soul during my practice by my virtual instructor stuck with me; thus, I felt compelled to include the trifecta in my haiku. I hinted in this haiku that I paused the video and my practice to write the poem, and I surely was a bit upset about having to do so.

1:15 PM

Ready for the day

Fancy for validation

‘Pod’ for sanity

Next, I finally got ready for the day. I found myself missing wearing nicer clothing, since I typically wore rather stereotypically “smart” clothing to my classes the semester before, and so I wanted to regain that self-fulfilling prophecy by wearing those types of articles of clothing. I also listened to Pod Save America for a while, because the podcast really does keep me sane.

2:14 PM

Vague melancholy

Digesting deliciousness

Questioning my tact

It was finally lunch time for this late riser, and I believe I watched Casey Neistat’s videos (and The Office) while doing so; therefore, seeing kinds of actual work ethic made me feel a bit guilty. I just really like Casey Neistat, okay?

3:15 PM

Gilmore Girls is great

Rain is humbling and kind

I need improvement

I spent the next hour doing a whole lot of nothing, besides watching clips of Gilmore Girls, as one does. The melancholy continued, as a calm rain shower began, and I tried to think through more of my plans for the future.

4:12 PM

Neon blue jacket

To tile and harsh lights I go

Say hello to Target

Yes, my friends, I finally went outside! Of course, I went to Target, as indicated in the haiku. The neon sterility that I found to be in common with both my rain jacket and Target stores was the “target” (haha) of my poem, which is always a bit lacking in comfort, but enjoyable nonetheless.

5:11 PM

Podcasts while shopping

Looking rude and pretentious

A new low perhaps

I was so tired of walking around stores aimlessly at this point that I listened to Fresh Air while walking around a store. I definitely felt a bit guilty about this action of mine.

6:11 PM

Thinking and hoping

A perpetual daydream

Let me make it work

I must admit that whenever I am being driven around, I am probably daydreaming, which is what I realized I was doing once I arrived back home. Making my dreams work and come to life is a completely different story, as I have learned (and indicated in my haiku).

7:23 PM

Value family time

Eat and discuss for an hour

I have lots to do

I ate dinner with my family for about an hour, and discussed some of my plans while eating a portion of a marvelous chocolate chip cookie for dessert. Such excitement.

8:24 PM

Decisions galore

Skeptic of my own skill set

It is time to think

If it is not apparent by now, I have been sort of obsessing about my future lately (I might have too much time on my hands right now), and so I kept bouncing around ideas in my head while trying to identify skills of mine. If you have any ideas, please let me know. I would appreciate more validation to feed on.

9:12 PM

That sinking feeling

Feeling behind and worried

Please go away soon

I started to freak out a bit more about my plans, obviously. Spending my evening thinking about how I am behind my peers due to my bouts of insecurity and indecisiveness are partially to blame. Looking back, though, I can already say that I was a bit melodramatic at the time. Take a break, former self.

10:13 PM

Tired but hopeful

Smiling seems vulnerable

Figuring it out

One of my habits lately has been consciously trying to not be overly naïve about situations. Consequently, in this haiku, I attempted to portray that I was calming down a bit, but still was slightly worried.

11:11 PM

Light in the darkness

The TV or my future

Please be the latter

Here is my last haiku of the day! I wrote this poem as I watched a bit of television in a dark room, while starting to read the textbook for my upcoming course and being told to stop doing so. I started to relax at this point and collect my thoughts and plans (which would then be changed by the next day, little did I know), which resulted in this odd haiku.

Also, here is proof of the timeliness of my haikus:

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Well, everyone, those are the haikus that I wrote. Admittedly, the process neither went completely smoothly, nor excitedly, as I had so much time to think about my future that I could not keep future jobs and scholastic experiences off of my mind (oh, the joys of being a community college student). Regardless, I still enjoyed this challenge of mine. I set up a reminder on my phone, of which I clicked on the “Remind me in an hour” feature every time it popped up, which helped me stay on track. The haikus themselves did not take too long to write; a minute or two was probably spent on each. Receiving each reminder honestly did make me realize how quickly the hours go by, though, and how I tend to spend them inefficiently. Furthermore, it was definitely brought to my attention that what I do during my time off is often not very productive or exciting. Such is life, I suppose.

I am considering following through with my haiku challenge again in the future, or even starting another dare in which I would write haikus every half-an-hour; let me know if you think I should continue with my plans.

Now, I challenge you, the reader, to take on my haiku challenge as well; if you do so, please let me know how it goes, and have fun!

-Stephanie

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