Boron, nitrogen, boron.

/Boron, nitrogen, boron.

Your single proton
fundamental, essential.
Water. Life. Star fuel.

The first of Mary Soon Lee’s elemental haiku.

All the elements of the periodic table, as haiku.

Also, this is a total nitpick but it irritates me every time I see non-Japanese “haiku”: the defining form a of haiku is not about the syllables. No, seriously. It’s not. There are some traditional constraints around the pattern of on–a concept which, incidentally, aren’t what we’d consider “syllables”–of which 5-7-5 is only one pattern, but the main defining feature of haiku is the presence of a kireji, a poetic construct that doesn’t really have an equivalent in English but is basically a way of joining two juxtaposed poetic images.

Or, to put it another way, if a haiku doesn’t contain two juxtaposing images, it’s not a haiku.

(That being said, and to be fair to Mary Soon Lee, her elemental mostly haiku do follow–or try to follow–this convention. I just… see a lot of English-language “haiku” that don’t.)

2017-09-12T08:33:25+00:0014th February, 2018|Tags: poetry, science|

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