Unintended haiku

When a magpie lands
in the branches the birds fall
silent …

(Juli Zeh, in Dark Matter)

They say Japanese readers are so familiar with the structures and rhythms of haiku that they recognise one immediately.

Today, I read the sentence about the magpie …

No, there aren’t 17 syllables; there are five in the first line and seven in the second. The silence in the third line is perfect.

Wikipedia has a worthwhile article on Haiku in English.   

Zeh, Juli. 2010. [Copyright © Schöffling & Co. Verlagsbuchhandlung GmBH 2007. English translation copyright © Christine Lo 2010.] Dark matter. London: Harville Secker [p217]

One thought on “Unintended haiku

  1. I’m reminded of David Letterman’s one-liner: “Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.”

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