New York City haiku

New York City in 17 syllables

For National Poetry Month, The New York Times asked readers to write haiku about the city: three lines of five, seven and five syllables. The response — more than 2,800 submissions in 10 days — was as impressive, and as exhausting, as the city itself. Writers were asked to stick to six subjects: the island, strangers, solitude, commuting, 6 a.m. and kindness. Beyond that, poems could be fashioned from whatever inspiration the five boroughs provided.

I’ve never been to New York, but it looks like I have to, because lately I keep on reading, hearing or seeing something related to this fascinating city 🙂 This poetry contest was such a great idea and I enjoyed reading these haiku in the Danish sun with my cup of coffee. Some of them made me smile, some made me think and some of them awoke that mixed sensation of solitude and belonging, I was feeling when I was living in London.
Here are some of my favourite:

(Kindness)
Behind him a trail
Of bread crumbs, popcorn and seeds.
He makes birds happy

(commute)
Morning Q commute
Has the best smell of the day:
Coffee and shampoo.

(Island)
If build and destroy
are music notes, our island
Is a symphony.

(Island)
If jackhammers wrote
Code, our island would launch a
Facebook every day

(kindness)
The New Yorker is
Not kind, they say. I say, he
Just left it at home.

(solitude)
This concrete, these dreams
Crafted before I got here
Gone before I left.

(strangers)
We can spend the night
Together, but I expect
Bagels in the morning.

(solitude)
On the roof, standing,
Flying his kite in the sky
The street disappears.

(6 a.m.)
Hidden among the
Sleepwalking, caffeine zombies.
A morning person.

(strangers)
I know you, don’t I?
You were me five years ago,
Dreaming of New York.

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