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Latin Haiku

My students really enjoy composing their own original works of Latin.  Such assignments allow them to apply some colorful creativity to the routine of grammar.  The exercise also proves a wonderful way to reinforce lessons in Latin grammar and syntax.  I have incorporated some of these composition assignments into Latin Alive, Book 3. One such lesson is the Latin Haiku.

The Haiku, a form of Japanese poetry, is among the shortest of literary genre.  It is known for its compact yet powerful means of expression.  The Haiku should consist of three lines, 17 syllables in toto.  The first line should consist of only 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line another 5 syllables.  This is a wonderful way to begin exploring Latin poetry, as the Romans wrote their poetry with regard to the number and rhythm of syllables as opposed to rhyme.   The Haiku typically contains themes related to nature or emotion, but you may write a bit of poetry to commemorate a person as Ennius does in the chapter reading.

Below are four examples of Latin Haiku composed by members of my 8th grade class at Grace Academy of Georgetown.

 

Ferus equus

In magna silva vivit

Totus sed solus

 

Canis effugit

Periculum nocte sed

Cadit in die

 

Offa suavis

suci plena rubraque

cocta perfecte

 

Avis non volat

Struthiocamelus est

Currit sub sole

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