On Haiku

December 2nd, 2008

For a few months now I’ve been playing with Haiku. I was first introduced to Haiku as a poetry form and a reflection tool at an Asian Facilitation Conference in Malaysia. I’m still looking for an opportunity to use Haiku in a workshop, but I guess that’s another story.

Just recently I’ve realised why I like Haiku so much and why I turn to it when I lack clarity (which seems to happen a lot these days!)

1. Freedom comes from structure
The Haiku form of 17 syllables – 5, 7, 5 – provides a framework that allows me to say whatever I want as long as it’s in 17 syllables.

2. Structure provides focus
As a result, this limit provides a means of focusing my thoughts – even if I’m not sure what that focus is when I begin.

3. Focus leads to clarity
By allowing myself to write a Haiku I can connect with the core idea that emerges.

Go on, give it a go. Here’s one to get you started:

So what’s the big deal
about Haiku? It shines light
on that which we know.


2 Comments so far

  1. Chris Corrigan on December 3, 2008 1:52 am

    Here’s another: Constraints induce creativity. Your word choices are often made for you by the rules of the form leading some new directions you would have otherwise missed.

    I use haiku a lot too…this practice would be an important exercise to any, of I don’t know, arts based exploration of collective leadership?

  2. Viv McWaters on December 3, 2008 9:17 am

    Yes! Indeed. And I think the constraints and structure of Haiku reflect the constraints and structure of Open Space, where similarly, the constraints of open space lead to enhanced creativity.

    Arts based exploration of collective leadership using Haiku? Yes, lets!

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