1. How did you get started with haiku?
I was quite interested in doing form poetry. Acrostics, cinquains, fibonaccis, etc. Haiku was a form that one of my friends had written in our old group blog. So I tried my hand at it. I made blunders at the beginning, didn’t realize syllables were different from words, thought that it had to be 5-7-5 and such. But then I learned about the form through Wiki, and then from other poets such as Jayashree Maniyil and Rita Odeh. I’ve fallen out of love with some form poetry, but haiku, to express a lot in little, I still find challenging and intriguing. I don’t think I can ever stop loving poetry, so the love for haiku will also continue.
2. Tell us more about yourself.
I stay in Bangalore, in the southern part of India. I love to write. Not just poetry, but short fiction as well. My dream is to publish my own book one day—poetry, and maybe a novel. Writing has helped me survive through some difficult phases of life, so whatever I may do professionally, I realize that writing is my calling. I also review books, with a preference for fiction. Reading is as important to me as writing. I blog under the pen-name Leo, and you can find me and my creations at I Rhyme Without Reason.
3. What does NaHaiWriMo mean to you?
Ah. It means haiku, and lots of it. I was given the link by either Rita or Jayashree, I think. It was at a time when my ideas on haiku were still far less than what they are now. I found Michael Dylan Welch’s note on why haiku isn’t necessarily 5-7-5 always, and I agreed with it. It was a turning point in my haiku journey. I’ve written some wonderful haiku since the time I found NaHaiWriMo, both for the daily prompts and otherwise. The sometimes silent and sometimes vocal support of the haiku poets at NaHaiWriMo has helped in my growth as a haiku writer, I believe.
4. What one piece of advice would you offer to those who are new to writing haiku?
The advice I would give anyone new to writing haiku is to just write. And when you do, respect the form and attempt it. I’ve been writing a long time, yet I still discover things I did not know about in the form. So trying to learn it completely and then attempting is not something that will work out. Try understanding the basics, and then write. You’ll be able to find the other intricate details as your journey continues.
5. Please share three of your favourite or best haiku.
the words that
still believing that
she loves me
onions . . .
I feel her absence