Haiku #5

Each howling of wind
each mountain wave crashing down
upon my hope boat.

At this point, it really should be quite evident that I didn’t follow the traditional rules of writing a haiku (see this post, and this post. And also this post). But if it’s not…

5, 7, 5 syllables: check

Punctuation: …barely

Seasonal reference: no, there’s no seasonal reference here. Unless we really want to stretch and pretend like a reference to wind is a reference to spring, which is the windiest part of the year.

No figurative language: it’s called a “hope boat.” If that isn’t figurative language, that’s a strange name for a boat.

Focus on nature/no human elements: yes, this haiku does focus on nature. The wind, the mountain waves, the howling. But there’s also a boat, which is a decidedly human element.

Part 2 (more rambling about hope, and less analyzing a haiku): This hope boat haiku is about a storm, much like haiku #2:

Hope is the anchor
holding this boat in the storm--
tossed by waves, unmoved.

There’s a distinction here though, in that haiku #5 is about an ocean violently heaving and trying to capsize you. in haiku #2, your boat is merely tossed around. And with an anchor of hope, you’re hardly being tossed anywhere.

This goes back to what I wrote last week, about the 4th haiku being the tipping point. Where darkness closes in and you have nowhere else to run.

These two haikus–both about boats and storms–contrast the before and after. Before, hope feels like being unmoved, un-tossed by waves. After, hope feels like reaching for a lifeline.

It is easy to have hope when you have an anchor, when the storm isn’t that bad, when if you really wanted to you could paddle to shore, drag your canoe up the beach, and go take a nap in the lake house. That hope is easy.

When the storm is a cyclone, when the rope of your anchor is severed, when the horizons are only hazy blue–that hope is hard. Those storms and violent oceans will try to drown you out, drown you in them. All the while, all you have to cling to is your own little hope boat.

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