The Mighty Haiku

3 min read

“A good haiku rescues a moment in time”
-Billy Collins

These days, I’m constantly in search of ways to stay connected to my creative process in spite of starting each morning with the standard full plate of “to dos.” That being said, I have to believe that I’m not alone in worrying that my productivity comes at the expense of my creativity. And to that end, Ladies and Gentlemen, I offer you the small but mighty haiku.

By definition, a haiku is “a short form of poetry originally from Japan consisting of three phrases in a 5,7,5 syllable pattern.”

What I love about starting each morning by writing a haiku is that I’m tapping into my innate creativity just enough to set the tone for the rest of the day. The simple act of reminding myself that I’m creative is all I need to get through without feeling like I’m just another worker bee doing the same dry tasks over and over again.

Haikus are also great because they don’t have to rhyme. As a result, you can write about pretty much anything without feeling restricted by making sure your words rhyme at the expense of a more interesting meaning.

Here’s an example of one of my favorite haikus written years ago by a friend of a friend:

Green peppers are mean
The come on seedy and tough
But are lacking guts

There’s something whimsical and yet truly thoughtful about this particular poem and haikus in general.

If you’re one of the many people who has been told – or tell yourself – that you’re not creative, I’d challenge you to try writing a haiku tomorrow morning. Between coming up with the idea and the time it takes to use the fingers on both hands to count syllables, I’m guessing you’d be looking at five minutes of inspired effort tops. When it comes to creative bang for your buck, it doesn’t get much better than that.

In order to help inspire people to be more creative, I post an instagram story every weekday with a new haiku to start your mornings off right. Come take a look! Also, if you’re feeling brave, why not post your haiku in the comments section of this post.

In closing, here’s one of mine:

Scared to write your thoughts
What’s the worst that could happen?
You’re already done


Find out more about Cliff’s creativity & innovation workshops for business teams.

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