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OK Haiku

Poetry Forms and Encounters with The Bard of Salford and some of my musical History

By Mike Singleton 🌜 Mikeydred 🌛Published 3 years ago Updated 2 years ago 4 min read

I was just wondering if a haiku would be an acceptable submission to Vocal’s poetry community. I believe the minimum number of words for a poetry submission is one hundred, a haiku is seventeen syllables in a 5-7-5 layout , so even at one word per syllable that is only seventeen words which is significantly less than the hundred required.

The Haiku is a great example of poetic discipline. The same thing exists for examples like sonnets (which have variations) but I am unaware of any haiku variations , just the 5-7-5 layout. Dr John Cooper-Clarke summed it up perfectly in his own piece:

“To-con-vey one’s mood

In sev-en-teen syll-able-s

Is ve-ry dif-fic”

Although it is quite simple. The last line could read “Is So Very Hard” but it would not be anywhere near as funny.

So if I were to submit this at this point with a haiku of my own , the whole piece would be 200 or so words, so well over the poetry requirement but only a maximum of seventeen words would be my haiku , plus the ten words from Dr John Cooper-Clarke.

Incidentally Dr John Cooper-Clarke’s first release was on Rabid Records and they were interested in putting a single out by our band The Bok (this was 1977) . We got to Rabid’s HQ in Manchester and there was one guy holding the first because everyone else had gone to London for a bash for the launch of Dr John Cooper-Clarke’s album , “Disguise In Love” . The guy told us the plans to release “Happy Birthday” (my composition) and “Mystery Band” (Andy Marshall the other singer guitarist) as a double “A” side and get us on Top of the Pops. He asked us which studio we used to record our demo. We didn’t have a clue. WE told him truthfully we had just recorded to a portable cassette recorder!! .Rabid records folded soon afterwards and the single never got made but you can listen to the demos on my Soundcloud channel here.

The thing is I usually write free form non-poetry , but more recently I have written three sonnets, all published on Vocal . The first was for a Vocal Challenge , the next two are just where I have picked up some excellent inspiration , but I, and all the readers seem to enjoy them.

Apparently, there are fifteen forms of poetry and here is a list I lifted from the net. There are quite a few that are definitely defined so I can try them for entry into the Poetry Community on Vocal. Though I say fifteen I am discovering new forms by the day so fifteen may not be a real figure but it is a start.

Blank verse. Blank verse is poetry written with a precise meter—almost always iambic pentameter—that does not rhyme.

Rhymed poetry. In contrast to blank verse, rhymed poems rhyme by definition, although their scheme varies.

Free verse. Free verse poetry is poetry that lacks a consistent rhyme scheme, metrical pattern, or musical form.

Epics. An epic poem is a lengthy, narrative work of poetry. These long poems typically detail extraordinary feats and adventures of characters from a distant past.

Narrative poetry. Similar to an epic, a narrative poem tells a story. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s “The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere” and Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner” exemplify this form.

Haiku. A haiku is a three-line poetic form originating in Japan. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line again has five syllables.

Pastoral poetry. A pastoral poem is one that concerns the natural world, rural life, and landscapes. These poems have persevered from Ancient Greece (in the poetry of Hesiod) to Ancient Rome (Virgil) to the present day (Gary Snyder).

Sonnet. A sonnet is a 14 line poem, typically (but not exclusively) concerning the topic of love. Sonnets contain internal rhymes within their 14 lines; the exact rhyme scheme depends on the style of a sonnet. Learn about Petrarchan sonnets here.

Elegies. An elegy is a poem that reflects upon death or loss. Traditionally, it contains themes of mourning, loss, and reflection. However, it can also explore themes of redemption and consolation.

Ode. Much like an elegy, an ode is a tribute to its subject, although the subject need not be dead—or even sentient, as in John Keats’ “Ode on a Grecian Urn”.

Limerick. A limerick is a five-line poem that consists of a single stanza, an AABBA rhyme scheme, and whose subject is a short, pithy tale or description.

Lyric poetry. Lyric poetry refers to the broad category of poetry that concerns feelings and emotion. This distinguishes it from two other poetic categories: epic and dramatic.

Ballad. A ballad (or ballade) is a form of narrative verse that can be either poetic or musical. It typically follows a pattern of rhymed quatrains. From John Keats to Samuel Taylor Coleridge to Bob Dylan, it represents a melodious form of storytelling.

Soliloquy. A soliloquy is a monologue in which a character speaks to him or herself, expressing inner thoughts that an audience might not otherwise know. Soliloquies are not definitionally poems, although they often can be—most famously in the plays of William Shakespeare.


Villanelle. A nineteen-line poem consisting of five tercets and a quatrain, with a highly specified internal rhyme scheme. Originally a variation on a pastoral, the villanelle has evolved to describe obsessions and other intense subject matters, as exemplified by Dylan Thomas, author of villanelles like “Do Not Go Gentle Into That Good Night.”

So I will finish with my own Haiku

Am I Creator

Or Am I Really A Thief

I say A Poet

I have to include some Dr John Cooper-Clarke with "I've Fallen In Love With My Wife"

fact or fiction

About the Creator

Mike Singleton 🌜 Mikeydred 🌛

Weaver of Tales & Poems

7(1.2m) ֎ Fb ֎ Px ֎ Pn ֎

X ֎ In ֎ YT (0.2m) ֎ T

Vocal Tips


Call Me LesGina HeatherCaroline


DaphsamMisty MelissaMa Coombs


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Comments (7)

  • Antoinette L Breyabout a year ago

    liked the poem about 17 Syllables, it was funny, by the doctor. Good review of poetry types as well

  • The concluding haiku is fantastic. And in response: I would agree.

  • Cathy holmes2 years ago

    Great article, Mike. Love the haiku at the end.

  • Judey Kalchik 2 years ago

    creator? Thief? Poet? As Meatloaf said- two out of three ain't bad.

  • Heather Hubler2 years ago

    Wonderful article! Easy to read format and a wealth of information. I liked the personal story in the beginning too :)

  • Dawn Salois2 years ago

    Loved this article, Mike! There’s a lot of great information in here. I’ve only scratched the surface of experimenting with poetic forms. Loved your haiku, too.

  • Babs Iverson2 years ago

    Fantastic!!! Love your Haiku and your story. 💕😊💖💕Confessing, I have tried to write Limericks, it's one poetry style that has me stumped.

Mike Singleton 🌜 Mikeydred 🌛Written by Mike Singleton 🌜 Mikeydred 🌛

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