Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bootsie's Morning Haiku

Besides "granddaughter," there are many words to describe two-year-old Bootsie, among them "big sister," "little sister," "tease"--and poet.  I knew about those first three descriptors, of course, but Bootsie's penchant for poetry was revealed to me only yesterday, in the form of a Facebook status update posted by her mama.

Titled "[Bootsie's] Morning Haiku," the post reads as follows:

My feet cold.  Eat food.
Me have a little freckle.
Blue sky, blue window.

Now I ask you, is that not genius?  I wish I could be so insightful and prolific myself first thing in the morning.

Notice first how the poet accomplishes the traditional haiku format.  The poem is three lines long, with a total of seventeen syllables arranged 5-7-5.  Amazingly, the three lines are approximately equal in their number of characters, and thus, their length.  Since this evenness is not so typical of haiku, it makes this one all the more remarkable.

Like any self-respecting haiku, this one is rich in imagery, that is, words suggestive of the senses.  Here, Bootsie cleverly includes three of the five senses--touch ("cold"), taste ("eat food"), and sight ("blue").  These, of course, are the three main senses with which the typical two-year-old experiences her world. 

If you were to read this piece aloud, you couldn't help but notice the sound patterns.  Line 1 contains internal rhyme with the words "feet" and "Eat."  There is consonance, or the repetition of end sounds, in the words "cold" and "food."  Alliteration is apparent in the repeated /m/ and /f/ sounds in the first two lines, and the repetition of the word "blue" in Line 3 leaves the poem and thus the reader with a pleasing color image.

Finally, the three lines also mirror the physical act of waking up.  Bootsie notices first that her feet are cold and she is hungry--internal sensations.  Then, she moves on to her external appearance with the notation of the "little freckle."  Finally, she looks beyond her two-year-old egocentrism toward the world outside of herself to catch a glimpse of blue sky, which, to her, also makes the window through which she looks appear "blue." She perceives herself as a part of this larger world and is ready to get up and start her day.

When Cookie posted this haiku yesterday, she asked her Facebook friends for analyses, and here is mine.  Am I amazed?  Yes.  Am I just a bit biased?  Most certainly.  But that is the prerogative of a literary critic who also happens to be the poet's "Googie." 

Keep 'em coming, Baby Girl, and Cookie--whatever you do, keep writing them down.

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