Posted by: Bruce Proctor | September 27, 2014

Bruce’s haiku: Introduction

I’ve been working several years on a book,”A Year at Birch Point: Photographs from Coastal Maine.” The photos are pretty much ready. Prints are mostly done. Sequencing of the images in process. Book proposal and interviews on the horizon.

But text, which need not be much, hasn’t come forth. Talk a little about this glacier-gouged landscape, the second and third-growth forests. How to see.

I’ve been reading “Seeds from a Birch Tree,” by Clark Strand, a small, lovely book on writing haiku (and which doesn’t come up under “haiku” in searches on Amazon that I can see), and thought: what the heck. Let’s give it a go.

I haven’t written haiku, but I’m finding it fun and convivial. Heck, it’s only seventeen syllables. You don’t need much to fill it up. It’s not a Big Deal like a sonnet or an ode. If it’s not very good, it’s no big loss. If it’s not very good, it still might be interesting. Anyone can read it and get what it means, and enjoy judging for themselves.

With only three lines, seventeen syllables, you can play around with the words, try to perfect them. Nuances that you might otherwise gloss over become important. Usually something close to the first go turns out to be best. Sometimes I’ll come back to one and give it another go. Something about it will bug me. It doesn’t take up much time (or life) in any case.

And you end up with real poems, moments of insight, little worlds that can sometime spread way out.

See what you think.



  1. Having your book ready is very exciting news. Can’t wait. These haiku are wonderful.

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