Poetry in motion: Well, it’s on the line

An exchange of Hailkus...


During lockdown the Students Association has provided a number of diversionary online events to keep us all sane – quizzes, even the intellectual challenges of bingo and chat shows among them.

Whilst I have no knowledge of any wider programme supported by the Open University, my alma mater, the Open Degree Programme, has had a similar series of events.  These have ranged from famous paintings, memorable films, favourite music to famous poems.

At the end of this last mentioned session,   Dr Butcher (see below), en passant, quietly suggested that those enjoying the session might find it interesting to produce a Haiku.

I had never written any poetry in my life but thought I might have a go.

This form of poem writing is of ancient Japanese origin. It contains 17 syllables in 3 lines of five, seven, five.. Writing a haiku requires effort but the poem is well worth it.

This opening one is my initial effort.

"Poetry on line

Interesting? Not divine

Mine for ever mine."

Having posted that on the Open Degree Welcome Café I thought no more of it until I was surprised to receive a response from Dr Butcher:

Patrick Johnson writes

With engaging brevity

A perfect response

Having got into the swing of things I could not resist a riposte:

Doctor Butcher says

Patrick writes a fitting haiku

Sadly this the last.

Sensing that this could go on, round and round, until one of us collapsed from mental exhaustion, I signed off with a comment with which I was familiar with from my days in the police force.

When a senior officer tired of memoranda, from officers of more junior status, the latest missive would be returned with the comment ‘This correspondence will now cease’

So I have come to the end of my foray into Haiku writing; but you might wish to exercise the brain cells and see what you can come up with.

I beseech you not to forward them to me as I can already feel the synapses in my brain attempting to reignite a passion for writing poetry.

Dr John Butcher is Associate Director (Curriculum and Access) at the Open University.  He is responsible for the development, enhancement and implementation of the portfolio's teaching curriculum.


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