Everyone knows what a Haiku is, right?  


Haiku is a Japanese poetry form consisting of 17 syllables over 3 lines.

 The first line contains 5 syllables, the second 7 syllables, and the third 5 syllables.

 Didn’t you all write Haikus in elementary school? I feel like we were always writing Haikus.  


I compose Haikus in my head when jogging, swimming, or to calm myself from shouting out in a plane during turbulence or running out of the car while stuck in traffic. It keeps my brain active and focused. I think I read about Haruki Murakami thinking up Haikus when he’s out running miles and miles.


On Sunday, I enjoyed a hot bath and read my favorite women’s magazine, which will remain unnamed since I don’t have an intellectual property lawyer in place yet. A Haiku popped in my head about the magazine. I was especially tickled with myself because I composed my first Haiku in German. I got out of the tub and wrote it down. Later that evening, I thought I’d email it to the magazine’s editorial department as they encourage letters from their readers. Why not? Everybody loves a good Haiku!


I’ll paraphrase as I don’t want to get myself or anyone else in trouble. I’m not mentioning any names, only my own. I’m the butt of my own jokes.



Hallo Magazine Redaktion!

 Haiku über die Name Zeitschrift:


3 syllables Name Zeitschrift

gut für die Badewanne

immer was neues



 Name of Magazine

good to read in the bathtub

always something new


 Then I followed with nice, genuine compliments about the magazine.


Servus aus Bayern!


 Imagine my delight when I received a response!


Liebe Frau Tolan,

 Thanking me for my email and positive feedback.  

 Wir wünschen Ihnen und Haiku auch weiterhin viel Spaß beim Lesen Ihrer Name Zeitschrift!



 We wish you and Haiku continued enjoyment reading your XX Magazine!


? ? ?

 Did you catch it?  

 At first I didn’t. I had to read it over a few times.  

 She though someone named Haiku wrote the Haiku poem. When I read my German sentence before the Haiku again, I realized that it does indeed read like Haiku wrote words about the magazine.  

 And Haiku would probably be in elementary school.

 Friends, my German Haiku writing is at a child’s level.


 I called my Bavarian for Foreigners Editor and read my email and the response. I thought she had an asthma attack from laughing so hard. I myself nearly grabbed my inhaler.  


“Maybe she thought Haiku was a strange spelling for Heiko?” my friend asked.


“Do you know what a Haiku is?” I asked.


“Actually, no.”


So in fairness to the editorial assistant, maybe Japanese Haiku poems are not part of the German school curriculum. Ever.  


I’m now wondering if I need to go back to German classes, if my Haikus are reading like an eight year old wrote them . . .








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