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The Japanese poetic form called haiku seems perfectly tailored as a discipline for someone who writes about “natural living.”
In its classical form, a haiku requires 1. a natural or seasonal reference; 2. three lines of text—the first and third lines containing five syllables, the middle line containing seven; 3. two concrete, sensory images separated by a pivotal phrase or word that links them, often in some surprising way.
The requirement for a seasonal reference draws attention to what’s going on right now in the natural world. The forced brevity and requirement for concrete everyday words are great for improving writing, and the requirement to link simple images from the sensory world to some insight or other can strengthen a writer’s ability to infuse her prose with broader and deeper layers of meaning.
Margaret Boyles is a longtime contributor to The Old Farmer’s Almanac. She wrote for UNH Cooperative Extension, managed NH Outside, and contributes to various media covering environmental and human health issues. Read More from Margaret Boyles