This week your challenge is to write a 17 syllable poem, based loosely on the structure of a haiku.

Haiku is the traditional Japanese art of “seizing the moment” with 17 syllables. Appealing to the senses, showing the imperceptible, suggesting something bigger than one can see, it relies on the notion of cutting (kiru) where two images or ideas are juxtaposed against one another by a cutting word (kireji) which acts as verbal punctuation mark.

A haiku is traditionally arranged in three lines, of 5, 7, 5 syllables and it should have a reference to a season of the year. In general the last line of the haiku should create an effect, surprising, scary, inspiring, or similar. A title is optional, although it can bring an additional layer of meaning and surprise.

To introduce to the notion of syllables we will be playing on this form and taking a modern approach to the theme. This will also allow us to explore the notion of syllables. An important mechanism in poetry writing.

To begin, lets take a quick moment to explore what a syllable is:

A syllable is a single unit of written or spoken word, an unbroken sound used to make up words.

Examples of Syllables

One syllable words known as monosyllabic: boat, heart, fall, drink.
Two syllables words known as disyllabic: Po-Em, o-cean, fall-ing, walk-ing.
Three syllables words known as trisyllabic: Si-mi-lie met-a-phor, po-e-try.
More than three syllables words known as polysyllabic: Ox-y-mor-on.
Syllables are used in poetry to give rhythm and depth to sentences.

Your challenge this week is to write a 17 syllable poem, with three lines, in the syllable form 5,7,5. The theme we would like you to explore is a ‘daily habit’. Through this we ask you to take the ordinary and create a moment of surprise, delight, inspiration, fear or similar.

We would like to thank @brandhaiku for our exemplar this week.  If you would like to see examples of poems written about this prompt than simply search the hashtag #heartwrds on Instagram, visit our community, or visit the @heartwrds gallery.

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