I first met WordJar when they published my poem, The Procrastinator, in their annual Valentines anthology My Love. This is their 8th anothology and is unique not just because it only contains haiku but because each haiku has been coupled with an image to extend its poignancy.
Not being very familiar with haiku when I entered the competition, I looked up the rules on wiki. Here's what it says:
Haiku (俳句 haikai verse) listen (help·info) (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:
- The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
- Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively. Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji. Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and on are not the same.
- A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.
Well, I failed to incorporate the seasons but you can find my contribution on page 3. I am particularly taken with Juliet Wilson's haiku on page 7, Carlton William Jr's "Dear Leader" on page 11 and Nancy Mills' "Regret" on page 13.
Carlton William Jr's haiku actually won the competition. It is arresting and haunting and, going by the rules above, it might also be a perfect haiku! See for yourself...
You can find WordJar's other anthologies here.