Haiku #6 goes like this (super dramatic first line, I know):
An old, aching tree about to tumble, roots weak. Enduring hope hurts.
Fair warning, I wrote most of this post on a day I was feeling particularly sad. With that in mind…
5, 7, 5 syllables: check
Punctuation: yeah, there’s punctuation here.
Seasonal reference: no, there’s no seasonal reference. This haiku could be in spring, or winter, or autumn, or summer. Who knows? I don’t, and I wrote it.
No figurative language: there’s no real figurative language in lines 1 and 2. Not really(?) any figurative language in line 3 either. But when take together–the part about the tree, and the part about enduring hope–a metaphor forms where you are the tree about to give up on hope. Conclusion: yes, there’s figurative language.
Focus on nature/no human elements: there’s a clear focus on nature here. But also some human (emotion) elements with the references to hope and enduring and hurt. So 50%.
Looking over this haiku now, several weeks later, I…don’t like it a whole lot? I mean, yeah, it’s a metaphor for how holding onto hope for a long time is like “why? What am I even doing anymore with hope?” and that’s great, but it’s just…not very interesting?
(Yes I’m calling my own writing not very interesting. You the reader can have your own opinions though. Yes, you should definitely listen to me telling you to have your own opinions. Catch-22, that. “Do what I say when I say don’t do what I say.” I think I’m using Catch-22 in the correct context. Anyway ramble alert.)
I guess this haiku, for me right now, doesn’t say anything super interesting in a super new fashion. I already knew this. The phrase “hoping hurts” is one I’ve heard before and it feels like a cliché. So, how to explain the emotion without clichés?
You (the imaginary you) know that feeling when you go on vacation, to a theme park, and you’re like “yes, let’s do all the rides, let’s have fun, today is going to be the best day ever“? But then in reality you stand in line for an hour for the best ride in the park and the best ride, unbeknownst to you, is a 3D ride of yanking turns and blinding flashes and nauseating spins. Which just makes you sick to your stomach. So then after you hobble off the ride into the blinding sunlight and oppressive heat you’re like “I just spent an hour in line for that!?”
That’s what “hoping hurts” feels like.
I have stood in line at many theme parks, metaphorically, for the “best” ride. I have woken up determined to chase my dreams only to feel like I did not sleep and wonder what “not being exhausted” feels like. I have walked from a ride, sick to my stomach, back into the same old heat and piercing light, asking “is this all there is to existence?” What is the point of continuing to try to find a good ride?
(yay says the mental health)
Why am I wasting my time in lines to the best rides that end up with me feeling ill? Why do I wonder when we can just do something fun, when that abstraction “fun” is a fuzzy, dim mystery? When my own head is like “well if you’re not going on the rollercoasters, what are you going to do then?”
I don’t know.
I’ll keep hoping for something.
Post-note that isn’t quite as sad: I tried writing a better haiku! It goes like this.
In the shrinking moon, the wilds glow ever aflame. Ash, smoke, dusk-red light.
I know what you’re thinking: there’s no seasonal reference here! Well, in Japanese haikus, the moon is actually a reference to autumn, following the logic that autumn is still warm enough to be outside, but the nights are longer, meaning you take greater notice of the moon. Intriguing:) Anyway. What do you think of this haiku?