Body, Mind, Spirit Magazine

Editing the Haiku of Richard Wright

By Fiercebuddhist @fiercebuddhist

Today I decided to give an example of editing a haiku. I love the work of Richard Wright and just discovered his book called “Haiku, This Other World.”(1) Sadly I was a bit disappointed in reading the book. Mr. Wright holds to a strict 5-7-5 rule and forgoes much of what is considered to make a haiku a haiku. In fact this month in the haiku journal “Modern Haiku” there is a review of the aforementioned book and it says that “the majority of these scholars care about and evaluate , Wright’s haiku not as haiku but rather more generically as literature.” (2) and I would tend to agree with their position. I digress this is not a critique of Wright’s work but an attempt to sharpen my editing skills. I have chosen one haiku that spoke to me, begging for an editing, and leave it up to you dear reader to decide.

Wright’s Original with approximate formatting.


In the post office,
A clerk sorting out letters
Hears spring rain falling.

My edit

in post office
clerk sorts letters…
spring rain

and now comes your part please vote which you feel is the better haiku. Please be honest I am trying to improve my editing.

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Wright, Richard: Haiku This Other World, First Anchor Books, 2000
Grayson, David. “Review of The Other World of Richard Wright: Perspectives on His Haiku,” Modern Haiku 42.3 (Autumn 2011) 129-132

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