Terse Verse: A Collection of American Haiku
By C. Thomas Howes
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 word play 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.