Math Haiku and Limericks
Haiku have 17 syllables, right? Nope. They actually have 17 morae. Don’t know what a mora is? Don’t worry; neither do most linguists.
I find the 5-7-5 structure of haiku too restrictive, and apparently Roger McGough does, too.
The only problem
with haiku is you just get
started and then
~ Roger McGough
And Daniel Mathews thinks the structure is problematic for writing math haiku.
Maths haikus are hard
All the words are much too big
~ Daniel Mathews
Limericks are a little more forgiving. With five lines in an AABBA pattern, you have a little more time to develop a story. Or not.
There was a young man from Peru
Whose limericks stopped at line two.
If you’re at a cocktail party, and you want to deliver the following one-liner, you better set it up with the two-liner above.
There was a young man from Verdun.
“Then there’s the one about the Emperor Nero,” quipped poets Elliott Moreton and Carl Muckenhoupt.
Personally, I think it’s pretty fun to turn traditional poetry rules on their ear. Here is a tradition-busting limerick for you.
A poet through efforts concerted
Ignored all the rules
He learned in the schools
Tradition he oft times skirted
And wrote all his limericks inverted.
And lest haiku feel neglected as a poetic form, here’s an abomination of that type, too.
The last line goes here.
It’s still 5-7-5, but…