An old silent pond, A frog jumps into the pond, Splash! Silence again. – Bashō

There’s a famous poem that goes, “In the Spring a young man’s fancy, lightly turns to thoughts of love.” You young fellows should try writing one for your sweetheart. Girls love that kind of thing and it doesn’t cost you much besides time and effort. If you know what you’re doing you could try your hand at a sonnet. They’re supposed to be something like fourteen lines long and have a special rhyme scheme and other requirements. Shakespeare wrote a bunch of them so you could probably steal one of his if you think you can get away with it. You have to be careful though because if your honey Googles a couple of lines she’s bound to discover you borrowed from the bard.

haiku frog 02
If you’re going to get all creative and try for an original composition the best kind of poem to take a whack at is a “haiku.” That one above is by a Japanese guy who is one of the most famous haiku poets ever. Basho may sound like a better name for a sumo wrestler, but he’s a regular Mr. Poetry in Japan. Anyway, the haiku is one of the greatest things ever produced by the Japanese, and that includes the samurai sword, sushi and the talking toilet. When the Idler was in school we were made to read some really long complicated poems like “Paradise Lost” and “Ivanhoe.” One year we had to read one called “The Faerie Queene,” not that there’s anything wrong with that. That’s the trouble with poetry, even guys like Tennyson who came up with pretty cool ones like “The Charge of the Light Brigade” would turn around and deliver stupendously long ones like “Locksley Hall” that had absolutely no charging or cannons or anything.

But the haiku is easy – poignant, snappy and above all short. It only has three lines and they don’t even have to rhyme. Let’s put it this way, you could fit two, maybe three haikus in a tweet. The only rule is that the first line should have five syllables, the second line seven and the third line five again.

You pick a topic,
You write three lines about it,
Boom! That’s a haiku

See, that was a haiku about how to write a haiku. But if you want to impress the ladies, you’ll want to make it a little more lyrical. Something like this, where you acknowledge both her beauty and her social-media skills might be effective:

Your Facebook pic rocks,
You are totally awesome,
So how about it?

Pointing out her physical grace, poise and artistic awareness is also advisable:

You’re a great dancer
And you hardly ever sweat
Even for fast songs

Calling attention to problems that may have arisen in the relationship sometime in the past can be problematic, however, since you’re better off not raising certain subjects at all:

In case I misspoke
Nothing you have ever worn
Makes your butt look big

Also, the Idler recently read an article claiming that women now want their butts to look big, so we’re thinking the whole topic should be handled like weapons grade plutonium.

Speaking of social media, it has not escaped the notice of the politicians. The following haiku is supposedly making the rounds:

Hillary Clinton
Is running for president
Please delete this mail

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