The glamour of grammar-day haiku

March 12, 2014

In a March 4th post on the use of amn’t in Ireland, I mentioned that it was National Grammar Day – or as I think of it, International Grammar Day.

Among the traditional events on the day is a grammar haiku contest, carried out mostly on Twitter and won this year by Nancy Friedman. Mark Allen has helpfully collected the entries, which are always fun to browse. These three are mine:

Hints at a hidden truth: the
Glamour of grammar.

Grammar essentials
go way back: school just refines
the work of infants.

Editors around
the world have many more than
Forty words for “Phew!”

The glamour of grammar echoes a certain T-shirt, the second is an old refrain for anyone scolded into thinking their native grammar is “bad”, and the third plays on the prototypical snowclone of Eskimos having forty words for snow. (Or even six billion.)

Comments in haiku
Are especially welcome,
But don’t feel obliged.

Grammar haiku and a whispering shell

March 8, 2012

Short poems and quick links today. First: a nonsense rhyme from months ago, reposted here lest I forget all about it:

On a day quite fine by the wind-blown brine,
I sit with my friend tranquilly —
A cockle, his heart warms the cockles of mine
As he whispers of life in the sea.

It will make more sense, I hope, alongside the drawing it was written to accompany: ‘The whispering shell‘ by Tegan Moss on her marvellous A Monster A Day blog.


On March fo(u)rth — National Grammar Day in the U.S. — editor Mark Allen hosted a grammar haiku contest judged by a panel of word specialists. The collected haiku on Storify make for a very entertaining browse. This was my entry:

My word, your syntax
stirs the imperative mood:
Let’s coordinate.

Despite, or because of, its shameless innuendo, it was one of the runners-up; the others, the honourable mentions and the deserving winner may be seen on Mark’s blog.


Comments in haiku, rhyming, or monstrous form are especially welcome, and there’s more haiku, nonsense verse, bookmashes and assorted poetry in the archives.

Autumn haiku

October 5, 2010


Wind whisks the sea white
Whipping sand at face and hands,
Turnstones circle low.



The haiku is yesterday’s; the photo is from February 2009. I’ve shown gulls circling low because I don’t seem to have any photos of airborne turnstones.

[Edit: After reading the haiku on Twitter, Tom Guadagno sent me a link to this lovely video of turnstones and other birds on the Welsh coast.]

Feel free to add an autumn haiku in the comments section.

On a wing and a poem

July 24, 2010


You may glare
And cry “Unfair!”
I do not care.
I will not share.


A damselfly in no distress
Pauses now to take a rest.


Pink-purple funnels,
A hovering visitor:
Summer encounter.


[Previously: Garden haiku; more poetry.]

Garden haiku

April 21, 2010



Bright yellow-white cup
Hover ever closer… Now!
Liquid lunch aloft.


(Comments in haiku form, though not compulsory, would please me very much!)