A Shared Haiku … Or Two

Active collaboration on artistic endeavours takes you out of your own head and relieves the pressure to create something great, because the aim is just to create SOMETHING. When the onus isn’t on you to create something whole and wonderful on your own, the results (and the process) are liberating, magical,and way more fun.

A gin night in Brookvale (ironically sans gin), full of laughter, wine, tragic pyjamas and curious minds brought about an experiment of the haiku kind.

We chose a common theme, wrote a line per poem each and let the finished product come to life at the hands of seven of us, not just our own. All we were responsible for was the form (whether we were up to 5 or 7) and sticking to the theme (however, each individual’s interpretation of the theme often strayed past the obvious, as to be expected).

Here is the method:

1. Collectively decide on a theme

2. Write opening line of five syllables

3. Fold paper and place in middle

4. Pick up a piece someone else put down

5. Write middle line of seven syllables

6. Fold paper and place in middle

7. Pick up a piece someone else put down

8. Write final line of 5 syllables

9. Swap papers with person to your left

10. Read paper to reveal a full haiku

Written in collaboration a total of 3 people wrote each haiku without any awareness of what was written before or after. When the poems were revealed and read out loud to the group, they were either hauntingly sophisticated or hilariously messy. The best part was no-one cared or was self conscious about what they contributed because the final, unpredictable product was more important.

Below are a small selection of what we came up with. I reckon we’re onto something.

ScanScan 1


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