I love Paris because she takes me by surprise. She gets me thinking. She wakes me up. She moves me. Even in her most ordinary moments, Paris is sublime.
How to capture those moments, those fleeting insights? Photographs can help… journals, too… But haiku does it best.
Haiku are short, often 3 line poems that look closely at everyday objects. They use precise images, traditionally drawing on the natural world, to express an emotion or a mood.
At the heart of every haiku is a surprise, an insight, a revelation, a “pop”!
A single moment has changed the way the writer sees the world, and when we read the poem, our perspective shifts, too. Isn’t this why we travel?
Announcing Haiku Fridays — weekly glimpses of Paris via poetry, and a great way to keep your Paris experiences alive.
On Fridays, I’ll share a favorite Paris haiku. I welcome your company, your thoughts, and your favorite haiku.
This week, the poem that put Paris on the haiku map: Ezra Pound’s famous “Metro” poem.
While Pound’s verses don’t adhere to the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count, they’re haiku-like in other ways. Three lines paint a vivid picture. They compare two things, one man-made, the other natural, by setting them side-by-side.
The connection is startling, and full of sensory impressions. After riding the Metro hundreds of times, the reader sees its arrival in a new way. I love Pound’s imagination, his precision. And you?
In a Station of the Metro
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
— Ezra Pound, 1916
Next week, I’ll introduce you to a present-day Parisian haikuiste.
In the meantime, if you have a Paris haiku, post it here!
To read Pound’s own words about his poem, click here.
A vendredi prochain! See you next Friday!