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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Haiku Tarot Exercise

I am enjoying doing some of the activities in Andy Matzner's Tarot Activity Book (read my review HERE), so I thought I'd share one with you. Here is how it's done:
"Process: Randomly pick a card from your deck. Your goal is to write a haiku based on the card you have chosen. Study it. See what comes to mind as you notice its details. What impression does the card make on you? What kind of energy is emanating from the card? What thoughts does the card provoke? How does it make you feel? Use your response to the card as the inspiration for your haiku."
I started to write haiku in elementary school, when I first learned about this very short form of Japanese poetry. Sometimes my best friend and I would write haiku together, one of us writing two lines and the other writing one line -- neither of us knowing what the other person was writing. The results were... odd. But great fun!

To learn more about writing haiku, check out this web site: How to Write a Haiku Poem.

According to that site, "using 5-7-5 [syllables] is no longer considered to be the rule for haiku in English, although it is still taught that way to children in school" (that's how I learned it way back when). These days, English haiku tends to be 10 to 14 syllables long. An example is given of a haiku by Jack Kerouac with the structure 4-3-3.

For this exercise I am using The Fairytale Tarot by Karen Mahony, illustrated by Alex Ukolov (Magic Realist Press).

My card is the FOUR OF WANDS.

The Fairytale Tarot (Magic Realist Press)

In the Fairytale Tarot, this card is associated with the story of The Musicians of Bremen, which happens to be one of my very favorite Grimm fairytales (and believe me, I've read them all). If you would like to read the story, you can do so at this link: The Bremen Town Musicians.

For my haiku, I am incorporating both the fairytale and the traditional meaning of the Four of Wands. So here you go. I hope you enjoy!

Light in the darkness
A joyful noise
Travels far.


  1. Great exercise, and lovely haiku :) Though I think I'll stick to 5-7-5, for the moment, 4-3-3 seems extremely challenging! There used to be a #taroku thing on twitter for tarot haikus...

    1. I've always done 5-7-5 myself, Chloe, as I was taught -- but this one came out differently so I was glad I could still call it Haiku. :)

  2. Lovely! Combines several of my favourite things - poetry and fairytales :) Ok, I'm game: Making your way/In the world/With new friends :D

    1. *applause applause* - awesome, Kerry! Thanks for commenting.

  3. What fun. Well done!
    I've never tried it, I think my tiny country school when the world was still in black and white missed the Haiku train.

    1. Thanks, Sharyn. Welcome to Haiku-land. Enjoy!


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~ Zanna