Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Back Cover to Haiku

Beside Being Japanese, what's Haiku?

Haiku is a Japanese way of looking at things. Poetry is their form of literature using imaginative and creative words in a compressed form to express unexpected new ideas.The ideas are universal; the attitude is Japanese.

There are two basic forms of Japanese poetry. One form is blank verse while the other follows a fixed or standard format. Two examples of the latter are Haiku and Limericks. Haiku are three-lined unrhymed poems while limericks are five-lined rhymed poems of a humorous nature. Terse Verse poems follow standard 16 lines of one syllable, in a gently humorous style.

Themes of Terse Verse are observations of everyday life and, more recently, comments on American lifestyles and behavior. Terse Verse uses puns and wordplay to give readers a different viewpoint of familiar situations. It is difficult to group these poems into specific categories since there are a wide variety of topics. Each poem must be read and enjoyed on its own merits.

In brief, Terse Verse is one-way poetry can reduce strange ideas to fewest words, delivering new points of view while bringing smiles to the reader.

--Tom Howes

Originally published: Tuesday, June 27, 2017; most-recently modified: Tuesday, May 14, 2019