Author’s Note


Maria Isabel Pita
When I was twenty-one years old, I self-published a book entitled Fragments for a Papyrus. The majority of the poems were very short, only a few lines long. Heart, mind and soul, I was struggling to dig for just the right words to express what I was feeling and experiencing. I ended up with little “spiritual equations” after which I did not write poetry again for decades. At the time, I had never even heard of Haiku.
These days, it's generally understood that for Haiku written in English, a fixed syllable count is not a required element. Modern (or American) Haiku must, like the original Japanese Haiku, be only 3 lines long but the syllable count is flexible.
My Holy Haiku honor the traditional 5-7-5 syllable rule, but do not always literally count each syllable. I learned from my mother, Juana Rosa Pita, that it's tacitly understood by poets who write Haiku-style poems in a Romance language that when the stress of the last word of a line falls in the third-to-last syllable, one of the syllables is detracted. And when (as most often happens in English, a Germanic language) when the stress falls on the last word of a line, an extra syllable is added. This way, it can attempt to sound more like the original Japanese Haiku.
I live in an old coastal town in Massachusetts a few blocks from the ocean. Once endangered, Sea or Fish Hawks thrive here along with an abundance of other birds and wildlife. Who I am

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