December 22, 2011 - National Haiku Poetry Day

You may already know that a haiku is a traditional Japanese poem that is very short. In just three non-rhyming lines, of five, seven, and five syllables, a haiku paints a quick picture of something in nature or that connects to seemingly unrelated things. Here is an example:

An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
by Matsuo Basho
To celebrate the day, write and read haiku! You can find some haiku poems here and here.
Bruce Lansky, the writer who runs Giggle Poetry's online “poetry class,” thinks that the strict syllable count is not the most important thing about haiku. Instead of holding to a 5-7-5 pattern, he hopes kids and other haiku writers will capture the essence of haiku by describing a natural scene in as few words as possible—and by conveying emotion with the short poem. Here's one of his haiku. 
Frog sunning on lily pad
as dragonfly darts by.
by Bruce Lansky
What's a syllable?
A syllable is a unit of sound that contains one vowel sound (although it may contain more than one vowel!).
Counting syllables is like counting how many “beats” a word has:
the word “beat” has one syllable
the word “counting” has two syllables (count – ing)and the word “syllable” has three syllables (syl – la - ble)
Here's a tool to help you count syllables.

Also on this date:

Anniversary of first string of Christmas lightsbe sure to check out the linked home light-shows! 

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