Haiku…Roses Aren’t Blue.

As I mentioned in my previous post, last night we had Haiku & Mash for dinner….a little something to inspire our son with his latest school poetry writing assignment…Write A Haiku. As I explained, the rest of the family all made great fun of my first, embryonic efforts and I clearly struggled counting syllables. I’m much too laissez-faire. In other words: “She’ll be right, mate.”

Anyway, with all this playful mucking around with words, our son reworked the old “roses are red” theme, developing quite a philosophical interpretation.

Roses can’t be blue.

Violets come in all colours.

But then there is you.

Anyway, despite being his mother and naturally thrilled by his poetic efforts, I sensed something quite profound in these words…a deep celebration of the individual perhaps, even something incredible intangible which I still can’t really explain.

As you may appreciate, a blue rose does not exist in nature. I don’t know if he consciously knew that or not. However, scientists have been struggling to develop a blue rose. They might have got there by now but the last I heard, they were still working on it. So, basically if you’re wanting a blue rose, you need a can of spray paint. This means that no matter how hard a rose tries, pushes itself, prays or even how much it pays, it will never be naturally blue. It just isn’t possible.

Does that mean it’s not beautiful? Of course not! However, there is that line in the sand. That “You shall not pass”.

It’s the same with people.

To a certain extent, you are who you are. While you might be able to stretch the envelope, I’m no longer convinced that “making it happen” is always such a good thing. More than likely, you’ll just end up doing something or being someone you’re not. Rather, than being success, this really can only ever be a form of failure and could well explain why so many people are desperately unhappy. They’re completely estranged from themselves.

This is not to say that we’re set in stone or shouldn’t pursue our dreams. Just that having a good sense of direction and a bit of insight might be a good idea.

I’m not sure that violets can be all colours but he’s certainly suggested more flexibility, wider opportunities there.

However, it was his last line, which really captured my attention:”But then there’s you!”

I’m a bit concerned that this “you” could well be me. What is he saying? That I don’t fit into or belong to any category and am completely out there? Impossible to classify? An absolute individual?!! Me??? Dare I say, that he even thinks I might be “beyond the flow”?!!

Surely not?!!

Or, perhaps, I’m just being egocentric. Casting myself as the star and the centre of his universe?

After all, why should I assume that he’s writing about me? Isn’t that being a bit paranoid? He could very well be writing about himself!

No! Definitely not! That last line definitely had “my weird and wacky mother” written all over it.


Mister & Mum.

You know, I’ve been expecting it. Now that our kids are almost teens, I know I’m on a steady downward spiral to becoming “an absolute idiot” where I know nothing! You should have seen my son’s eyes roll just because I wasn’t used to a laptop with a touch screen! Who does he think he is? Bill Gates? Steve Jobs? A little humility wouldn’t go astray. Not at all!

Since then, I’ve been thinking of starting a: “Parents Of Teens Mutual Admiration Society”. It’s sole mission would be to prop up and even salvage our shattered self-esteems. We can share cups of tea and whisper sweet nothings to each other and undo all that dreadful psychological trauma inflicted by our kids! I can’t wait!

You’re welcome to join me!

So, given my total perceived lack of brainpower, perhaps I should  just leave my poetic efforts  at this:

Roses are red.

violets are blue.

Some poems rhyme

but this one doesn’t.

By the way, the young poet has subsequently returned from school. He’s been thoroughly interviewed, investigated and even interrogated about the intended meaning of his Haiku.What it’s all about. After all, why leave it open to interpretation when I can ask the poet himself?!!

Well, you might as well hit me over the head with a baseball bat and put me out of my misery. All my interpretations were “incorrect”. He was just wanting to write something funny, playing around with words. As far as the identity of the “you” is concerned, I was partially “correct”. He was referring to “you” as in the reader, holding up a bit of a mirror to bounce back our own reflections. So, it was actually me thinking I was a one-off weirdo, not him!

However, just because he intended it to be funny, that doesn’t mean he didn’t stumble across a profound truth. What do you think? I’m sure there’s something hidden between those lines.

Or, perhaps it’s only me.

Anyway, we’ll be having a night off from Haiku and Mash tonight. He’s off to Scouts and will be of paddling or sailing on the high seas.

Perhaps, he’ll find some further inspiration out there!

xx Rowena


17 thoughts on “Haiku…Roses Aren’t Blue.

  1. trentpmcd

    Have you ever seen/read The Glass Menagerie? Anyway, just thinking about blue roses – blue has another meaning – sad. Is there such a thing as sad roses?

  2. merrildsmith

    I think you’re too close to the author. I interpreted his poem pretty much as you say he meant it. Although, trentpmcd rightly points out that blue can mean sad, which gives the poem an extra meaning. I had totally forgotten about blue roses from The Glass Menagerie. Thanks for the reminder, trentpmcd.
    Mister is a cutie! Good luck with the teen years. 🙂

  3. Norah

    I think it’s a cute and also philosophical poem. Sometimes we don’t know the wisdom of our words. They carry meanings we never intended. And isn’t that like all the great poetry – it is left for mere commoners to contemplate and conjecture. I love the way you have worked at an interpretation. Son must be lapping it up.
    I think your suggestion of POTMAS is a great idea. I wish you’d been around when my kids were teens! Trouble is, they’re all different. I’m sure you’ll have a wonderful time watching them grow into their independent and resourceful adult selves.

  4. roweeee Post author

    I went to try to buy Basho’s Haiku from our local bookshop. They had no Haiku whatsoever. I rang my husband. He works at a university. They had none too. Apparently, the warehouse was empty and the publisher was out as well. I was a bit annoyed. I don’t know whether they’ve had a run on it or whether there’s no one buying it. I was quite surprised because Haiku seems quite popular with bloggers and kids do it at school. I don’t know what’s going on. I’m just a mere mortal.

  5. roweeee Post author

    Sorry to hear about your Mom and it’s really good that Haiku has helped you work through that. I’ll be interested to see what effects writing the Haiku has for me. It might be more of a reflection of the changes which have already taken place but I think it will definitely take me to new places as well.
    My poor son forgot to save his Haiku for school and had to rewrite four of them tonight and will finish them off tomorrow. These four are about the seasons, which is a bit challenging where we live as we don’t really have four defined seasons. There are 9 months of pretty good weather and three months of cool. There are times where its incredibly hot in Summer and we have cool days in Winter which we’re not prepared for and they can be harsh.
    Anyway, I have written four haiku set at our beach over the four seasons. I’l quickly write them up before I get to bed.
    xx Rowena

  6. roweeee Post author

    Thanks very much, Kat. I’ve been back at it tonight after my son forgot to save some of his and had to re-do them. He did one for each season…not that easy when our seasons are poorly defined. I’m about to post my effort at it. I set them at our beach and you will have a real laugh at Spring!
    Hope you’re having a great weekend.
    xx Ro

  7. Oliana

    When I started writing haiku I follow strictly tht 5-7-5 syllable count, then I heard of 3-5-3 and after following prompts with our mastor and mentor at http://chevrefeuillescarpediem.blogspot.ca thankfully I have learned to forget rules of counting but concentrate on seeing, hearing and sensing a moment in 3 lines. You might like to check out Chèvrefeuille’s daily prompts.

  8. Oliana

    Suzanne writes beautiful haiku, haibun and portrays her haiga through her photography is another blogger you may enjoy who is from Australia.

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