Haiku World Cup Addiction


Recently I was generously invited to submit haiku (ancient Japanese poetry) to The High IQ Haiku World Cup project; and, to my surprise, was later made a member of the (currently) twelve-strong haikuworldcup.blogspot.com editorial team, which includes our very own Jon Greenbank (Thanks Matthew, your enthusiasm is an inspiration).

haiku Haiku World Cup Addiction

Have you ever tried World Cup Haiku? You should.

Delighted to play my part, in what is a unique and absorbing campaign, I’ve been composing nothing but World Cup Haiku poetry for the past week or so; some good, some admittedly a little worse. I am, nonetheless, finding writing/reading haiku enormously addictive, and surprisingly satisfying.

My best effort to date centres around the forthcoming opening ceremony in South Africa, as I attempt to create an atmosphere akin to that of the eagerly anticipated first day, of what I expect will be a monumental celebration. It reads as follows:

Opening Ceremony

A boy beats his drum
Throngs wait impatiently
Seats fill, noise builds whilst

A boy beats his drum
Drink spills on concrete steps
Foot slips, friend holds as

A boy beats his drum
Disjointed trumpets begin
People dance in unison

A boy beats his drum
Excitement grows and grows
Explodes like confetti

Over a boy who beats
Over and over again
In cool thin air


t1larg Haiku World Cup Addiction

African fans are some of football’s most vibrant

Whilst seasoned Haikus will inevitably view my work as that of a western novice, I’m reasonably pleased with it, and regard it as a relative success. I am especially happy with the way I have simply conjured up a scene rather than merely my own biased notions, subscribing to the renowned mantra of ‘no ideas but in things’, endorsed by the Imagist manifesto of the early nineteenth century.

Also, I have hopefully achieved my chief goal of heightening excitement before the big kick-off. This – along with serving as an alternative approach to serialising events in South Africa – and encapsulating what this festival means to fans like myself, has to be the primary motive in this particular brand of poetry, and ultimately the aim of The High IQ Haiku World Cup project.

Those interested are welcome to join me and my poetry pals and enter your own haiku. Simply send your haiku to [email protected] and be in with a chance of winning what is judged to be the best haiku. Believe me when I tell you you will find it both stimulating and indulgent.

godzilla haiku Haiku World Cup Addiction

Sample haiku poetry about err Godzilla

My haiku, however you may view it, certainly stirred up palpable images of an impending opening ceremony for me, and prompted a revisit to my mind’s eye for memoirs of those opening ceremonies gone by, as inspiration for yet more haiku.

Here’s another attempt at haiku then (probably not complying with High IQ Haiku’s criteria, so therefore not eligible for the competition), transcribing events from the first opening ceremony I remember; yes, the one that got me hooked…Heck I may even comprise even more haiku and publish them on this site in some kind of series? Who knows. Like I said folks, it’s damn well addictive once you get started.

San Siro Shadow (Italia ’90)

San Siro shadow
Diego waits; entertains
Debates swarm about

Presence felt only
By those did see him lonesome
Amid tides of green.

Free, from Africa, men
Sure to prove, play and dance
And leap high to score.

Tackles flew, men sent down
Dark tunnels, sins sit alone
Whilst one goal wins.

Omam Biyik leaps highest to head winner against Argentina

As you can see, it’s not so difficult, nor too time consuming. Just play around with them, see what you come up with; and, above all, enjoy it! Ok, advice over.

If you require extra information about The High IQ Haiku World Cup project, or even about haiku in general, please visit haikuworldcup.blogspot.com where you’ll find all the details and more. Remember there is a competition currently up and running, so if your attempts are any good, you might stand a chance of winning. I like haiku, I hope you do too.