Regular readers know that I like minimalist poetry and have been known to dabble in writing it, but that I also feel that the strict haiku form, designed for the syllable patterns of Japanese, doesn’t work that well in English. I’ve been solving the problem in my own work by devising poems that capture something of the haiku feel in the natural patterns of spoken English. I call them not-a-haikus and you can read a few of them here.
But I’ve also always missed the fun of trying to write “real haikus” like we used to do back in school. Enter everyone’s favorite giant green rage monster. I was reading the latest post on the excellent advice column of Captain Awkward (one of my favorite blogs) today on a work break, and found a reference to HULK-KU. This is the art of writing haikus in the voice of the Incredible Hulk. Epiphany! This works perfectly! The extraneous syllables fall away and the sparer use of language precisely fits the form. Within a few minutes I had written the first of what I’m sure will be many Hulk-kus. (Excuse the all caps, but we know that the Hulk is on permanent capslock.)
- ORANGE CONES MEAN HULK
- STAY OFF WET CEMENT SIDEWALK.
- HULK FOOTPRINTS FOREVER!