Sunday, September 18, 2011

Cat Haiku, Peavy Style

Many years ago I remember seeing in my inbox one of those letters that everybody, including your mother, forwards to everyone in their address book.  This one was called "Cat Haiku," and though I don't recall exactly what the verses said anymore, I never forgot the smile they brought to my day.  

Haiku, a short, Japanese poem is characterized by three qualities:

  • The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
  • Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.
  • kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words. The majority of kigo, but not all, are drawn from the natural world. This, combined with the origins of haiku in pre-industrial Japan, has led to the inaccurate impression that haiku are necessarily nature poems. Source
The English version of Haiku sometimes follow these guidelines, but it is not necessary to have the previous qualities to be considered a Haiku. Keeping this in mind, and having been recently inspired by the fond memory of the aforementioned "Cat Haiku," I have written my own little poems honoring each of the four cats we have had the privilege of calling "ours" over the past 7 years. 

Pixel's Haiku
Cute brown tabby cat
Purring sweet rumbly music 
Lulls me off to sleep

Sassy's Haiku
Sweet little kitty
Thinks I am no one special
But still I love her 

Tika's Haiku
Beautiful tortie
She was the love of my life
Now she's God's angel

Callie's Haiku
Calico princess
Fun wrapped in a silky coat
She had "Cattitude."

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