Experimental Writing: Haiku form

More explanation. I went to a creative writing workshop based on the exhibition, Observations. It was run by Tempo arts and facilitated by Ian Monk, a member of the Oulipo group. (See last week’s post if you want to know more about Oulipo and why I’m interested in it.)

Ian asked us to write 3 lines, in the centre of the page, inspired by one picture from the exhibition, in haiku form, 5 syllables, 7 syllables, 5 syllables. He then asked us to expand, up and down, as if we were looking outside the frame of the picture.



in the beginning

sun on water, salt and earth

protozoa crawl


oil slick skin keep me safe whole

from water we come

and from water we are made


and in that moment

waves stull, black ice crystals form

eyes mouth full. I drown


gasp inhale brine my lungs

surface. Air once more

exhausting oscillation

a choice. My choice? No.

I’m drawn to where I came from

body dissipates


At this point we were asked to leave our poems on the table and walk round and take 3 lines from someone else’s poem:



Phoenix In Fire Background Photo by fotographic1980 via http://www.freedigitalphotos.net/

Crack. Dark. Swamp leaf earth mould egg

a dragon is born

small spark wavers wavers falls

le mer violant

exhales mille drunken kisses

smelting sea to gold

en or I watch him arise

phoenix wing spread burns

destruction dragonified


This was a useful exercise following on from the first experimental writing workshop, again forcing me to discard my habitual choice of words to fit a constraint.



4 thoughts on “Experimental Writing: Haiku form

  1. These are some of the best Haikus I have seen – I must give them a try one day, I love their form. It is so beautiful how the pictures have influenced your words. Thank you for linking to Prose for Thought x

Leave a Reply to 38to39a Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s