The Haiku Voyage

I write haiku poetry and I’ve always enjoyed the poetic form’s remarkable history and development.

In 2009, I challenged myself to write one haiku poem every day for 365 days.
The challenge presented me with a few hurdles, but I succeeded and learned quite a bit in the process. It was also an exercise in discipline and persistence that thoroughly tested my resolve. The project opened many doors for me and led to other worthwhile activities including my “whispers from nature” compilation.

Haiku is a form of poetry which originated in Japanese culture. Classic haiku consists of three lines describing a concept, with the first and last line having 5 syllables each and the middle line having 7.  Many variations and forms of haiku have come about over the years but the 5-7-5 syllabic structure remains the most recognizable. Haiku may take a few minutes to learn but a lifetime to master.

Back in May of this year, a competition was announced that invited the public to submit haiku poetry that would be included on NASA’s Maven spacecraft during its mission to study Mars’ upper atmosphere. I learned about it too late to participate but the challenge resonated with many people from around the world. The NASA probe to Mars will carry a DVD containing 1100 Haiku poems submitted and voted on by the public.

Some have suggested that this is an unnecessary publicity seeking exercise because once the probe’s fuel is exhausted, it’s expected to fall into the Martian atmosphere and burn up. This may be true, but the point here is that thousands of writers were inspired to step up to the challenge and contribute their time and effort in a fun, educational and meaningful way; that’s what matters IMHO.

(#31WriteNow Day 11)

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2 thoughts on “The Haiku Voyage

  1. I really appeeciated your artiche, Ray, and very much agree with you.
    Luisa (ranked third at the NASA contest for MAVEN)

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