Monday, July 6, 2009

A word about poetry

It happened almost by accident. I was looking for short story competitions to enter when I stumbled across the New Zealand Poetry Societies International Haiku Competition. I thought OK, why not? So I went and had a look at the examples of past winners and good poems on their website.

I spent a few hours writing, came up with a dozen or so poems sent in half of them and promptly forgot all about it. A few months later I got a phone call to say I'd won! Apparently there were over 700 entries from around the world.

Poetry has changed a lot since I was at school. Take the poem I wrote when I was ten years' old:

A pair of eyes watch
Hidden with fear they follow
They are my scared eyes.

This poem follows the traditional western syllable format 5/7/5

These days that's a no no, apparently. You aren't supposed to have any thes, as or ins etc.

A more modern version of this poem might be:

Eyes watch
Hidden with fear
My scared eyes.

Personally I prefer the one I wrote when I was ten. It's more fun trying to restrict your words to a particular word count, I find.

Here's a link to the NZPS webpage:

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