« Paris is poetry. Paris is a poem. I’m probably not the first person to write these sentiments. But, I might be the first to write: “Paris is a haiku!” Around every cobbled corner is an “Aha!” moment waiting to be captured. Open your “haiku eyes” (*) and come along with me on a journey through Paris and French culture, in haiku. » Anna Eklund-Cheong is a haikuist and American expatriate living in Paris. Here is a selection of her haikus capturing fleeting moments of her (and your) favorite city.
from giant clock eyes
Monet, Renoir and Van Gogh
overlook the Seine
the raw edges of the Seine
each stitch an arched bridge
squeeze into creaky
rattan bistro chairs, and stay
as long as you like
with maps they locate
Jim, Edith, Oscar, Chopin
scattering stray cats
herald the day’s first baguettes
long before dawn … yawn
with gaping mouths and sharp teeth
eye my gooey crêpe
A few New York Haiku too:
Riding through the park
no daffodils blooming yet
— but unbuttoned coats (Sharon Rousseau)
a universe in the world
tethered by bridges (RC Dewinter)
Sparrows come and eat
the line of seeds left there by
the old man whistling (Elena Rivera)
Hidden among the
Sleepwalking, caffeine zombies
A morning person (Aimee Estrada)
About the Author
Anna Eklund-Cheong, an American expatriate living in France since 2000, blogs on Paris culture at https://parishaiku.com/ and leads tours through the city on the 18th century beginnings of the long Franco-American friendship (think of “Ben Franklin’s Paris”). She enjoys volunteering, travel, reading, blogging, leading tours, and writing haiku. She has a BA in International Relations and Political Science from the University of Minnesota. Her haiku have been published in “The Heron’s Nest,” “Acorn,” the “Paris Panorama” newsletter, and “Romantic Paris Magazine.” For the past three years, several of her haiku have also been selected for printing and display in Washington, DC’s downtown business district, as part of an annual haiku contest sponsored by the Golden Triangle BID.
Photos by Eric Hian-Cheong, http://www.
(*) With a nod of thanks to Patricia Donegan and her book, “Haiku: Asian Arts & Crafts for Creative Kids” (Tuttle Publishing, 2003), page 5.