Saturday, April 9, 2016

Haiku A to Z: H is for History in Haiku

photo courtesy of pixabay
"'If you wanted to, you could write history in Haiku.' I'd been saying this for some years when one semester, one bright student said, 'Well, Professor Brands, have you ever written history in haiku?'"--H.W. Brands, author and history professor

 Talk about picking up a challenge and running with it. H.W. Brands, author of over 25 books and professor at the University of Texas started tweeting the history of America in haiku in 2009, and is still at it today. In an interview with PBS News Hour he said, "I've observed that the forms available to writers have changed over time and I thought one of the most radical changes was Twitter, the idea that you would send this message in 140 characters. It occurred to me that the 17 syllables in a haiku fit conveniently in 140 characters of twitter." He began his project at 15,000 B.C. with the first peopling of the Americas. To date he's up to the first moon landing.

Now that's a highly innovative use of haiku!

I often visited a dear neighbor who lived into her nineties, and she would share stories of growing up in pre-war Germany. One of her accounts prompted my history in haiku, day eight:

happy German kids
bike into Holland, nineteen-
thirties' innocence
--Kenda Turner


  1. Now that is a good way to use twitter. Good haiku.

  2. Reminds me of that book about H. A. Rey and his wife (the Curious George authors) biking across France to escape the Nazis! I love history in haiku!

  3. Ann, I thought that was a unique way to use twitter, too--and what a commitment, the whole history of America??? Thanks for stopping by.

    Peggy, you've given me another interesting tidbit--didn't know that about the Curious George authors. Now I want to read about them! Have a great rest of the weekend :-)

  4. What an innovative idea! Thanks fro sharing.

    Yvonne V

  5. Yvonne, it is quite a neat idea isn't it? Thanks for dropping in :-)

  6. How interesting. Haiku fascinates me. So lovely. When I was still teaching, our fifth-graders studied different forms of poetry, Haiku one of them. They wrote some pretty neat poems. Thanks for the lovely poem.

  7. Beverly--lucky kids! I wish I had been taught more about poetry when I was a child :-) But now I can pass on what I'm learning to my grandkids. That's a fun prospect. Nice to 'meet' you...

  8. I like the thought of happy German kids biking into Holland. you just don't have that image of people in the 1930s.

  9. Sharon, my neighbor was amazing. For all she went through, she was the most appreciative, loving person you could meet. We miss her a lot...