Intro to the TNGU Haiku


These Haiku have been accumulating since 2005. They are not strictly Haiku in every sense, as there are more rules than the well-known 5-7-5 syllable format, which isn’t always used in English Haiku anyway.

However I have used the 5-7-5 format to help me write short pieces by limiting my choices. I was a songwriter long before I became a psychiatrist, and always found the restrictions imposed by rhyme very helpful in directing a song out of the abstract dizziness of infinite choice. But songs would take all day or all night to write, and once I was training in psychiatry I didn’t have that time so much.

Further restricting a piece to seventeen syllables meant an idea could arrive any time in a busy day and with a minimal amount of obsessing it could be put down so I could get on with things. Reading over them later it occurred to me that the less I fussed over them, the better. My songs and other writing consist of a huge amount of thinking, decisions, reworkings in the pursuit of perfection; these mongrel Haiku are however just that – stray, no breeding, they just turned up and so I fed them.

Then I became a father, and had even less time! No songs arrived for five years or so. I wondered if they had gone forever. But the strays kept showing up now and then. So it is time to give them a home, with some old and new photos for company. I hope you find them friendly enough.

Oh, and if you ever find a normal grown-up in your travels, don’t panic. Approach slowly and try reading them some Haiku. That should break the ice.



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