Syllabic Haiku Day
Today is September 4th and I hereby declare September 4th Syllabic Haiku Day. I have set aside this day to celebrate all those Haiku poets who have written and continue to write, English language Haiku using a syllabic approach; that is to say all those who compose their Haiku in the 5-7-5 format.
I have chosen September 4th because September 4th is the birthday of Richard Wright. Wright is, in my humble opinion, the finest composer of syllabic Haiku in English and, I would suggest, wrote the finest collection of Haiku yet to appear in English. So it seems appropriate to pick this day to celebrate Syllabic Haiku.
Syllabic Haiku continues to be written and published in English and taking a day to celebrate Syllabic Haiku is, I think, a good way to encourage the continued composition of syllabic Haiku. From James Hackett and Richard Wright to new Haiku poets such as Susan August, Johnny D, and numerous others, Syllabic Haiku is flourishing.
I also want to give a nod of appreciation to all those teachers, particularly grade school teachers, who have introduced countless youngsters to Haiku in their classes. Often Haiku is included in grade school curriculums that introduce poetry and the standard approach in grade school is to introduce Haiku as a “three line poem about nature written in 5-7-5 syllables.” This is a great summary, a good working definition, one that can serve well Haiku poets throughout their lives. So I hereby extend a heartfelt thanks to all those teachers who have taken the time in their busy schedules to offer their students the basics of this little jewel of poetry.