Finding Your Own Poetic Voice

As a last post, I want to encourage everyone to write – take walks, jot down thoughts, snippets of poems, potential lines and then, when you have a chance, reflect on them and think about what you really want to get at, about what prompted you to write down those few words or lines.

By all means, read the haiku masters – Japanese masters, American masters, European masters. You’ll learn the form and get a feel for haiku just by reading them. Eventually, you’ll know the definition of a haiku in your gut even if you can’t verbalize it. And the more that you read the work of others, the more ideas you’ll get for your own poetry.

Ultimately, though, everyone has to find their own poetic voice. We all inhabit a different poetic space. Some write for fun or as an escape, others to deal with trauma. But, for whatever reason you put pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard, what is most important is to find a means of expression that is meaningful to yourself, that is true first of all to yourself and what you’re trying to get at.

Many good haiku books are available but easily the most affordable and well-done is entitled, The Classic Tradition of Haiku: An Anthology, edited by Faubion Bowers. It will cost you a grand total of $1.00. Published as a part of the Dover Thrift Editions series, this excellent slim paperback contains haiku by about 40 Japanese haiku poets with a variety of translators and translations.

I have enjoyed sharing some of my thoughts on haiku and writing with you. If you’d like to keep up with me or my small press, please just visit the Turtle Light Press website or Facebook page. Here’s one last image of mine for you — anyone have a haiku?

Good luck to everyone with their poems, haiga, paintings and photography!

Best regards,


Ladybug by Rick Black


One thought on “Finding Your Own Poetic Voice

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