“Five Haiku” by Billy Collins

Billy Collins


Slicing strawberries
this morning, I’m suddenly
slicing strawberries!
A twig in its beak,
a bird disappears into
the town’s noon siren.
One more dead calm day—
I listen to the wind chimes
I smacked with a broom.
He may compare you
to the dawn, but I
stayed up all night to watch it.
In the summer sky
a cloud with its mouth open
eats a smaller cloud.

from Rattle #47, Spring 2015
Tribute to Japanese Forms


Billy Collins: “I follow the seventeen syllable limit because it provides me with a pleasurable feeling of push-back, a resistance to whatever literary whims I may have at the time. If you want to create a little flash of illumination, the haiku tells us, start by counting on your fingers. A three-line poem with a frog is not necessarily a haiku.”

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