Jack Kerouac’s haiku
Who knew that Kerouac was a fan of haiku?:
“Think haiku, and most Americans who know the poetic form automatically think “17.” That’s the number of syllables the Japanese masters used to create their brief, scintillating visions of seasonal life. But Americans who know the form a little bit better might also think “Kerouac.” Jack Kerouac, the poet of inordinate prose, was also a master of haiku, and a master, as always, at deformalizing the formalities of any genre. “Haiku, shmaiku,” Kerouac wrote, in a verse that ended, “I can’t/understand the intention/of reality.” He called haiku “pops,” which he defined as “short 3-line pomes.” In Kerouac’s haiku, now gathered in “Book of Haikus,” edited by Regina Weinreich, 17 vanishes as a requirement.” Read on.