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"Haiku 459" Richard Wright

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Title: "Richard Wright Struggles to Survive" Original Haiku: Richard Wright, Haiku 459: I am paying rent For the lice in my cold room And the moonlight too. Paraphrased Haiku: How can I be paying rent for a lousy apartment? I have no money to afford to heat the apartment, and lie in bed sick with lice biting me. To add to my discomfort I cannot sleep, because the moonlight shines through the one window that I have in my small room that faces my bed, and of course has no blind. Basic Elements: The speaker of this poem is the author. This poem could be about any poor and sick lonely individual, any where in the world. ...read more.


There is a simple structure to this poem, making the imagery easy to relate to. The second line suggests how bad the apartment is. The last line denotes that moonlight comes into the picture, giving the final touch to the imagery of a poor person suffering in a low rent broken down apartment. Emotional Elements: Wright tries to use the traditional characteristics of the haiku to show human feeling. "Lice in my cold room" give the start to the sadness and misery of the man in the room that is suffering. I can feel the lice on my body when I read this and visualize what is happening. ...read more.


Evaluate: This haiku definitely follows the traditional rules of the haiku, using simple descriptive words. One sentence is written in the three line format, using of the 5-7-5 syllable format. General Expectations of a Poem: I expect to find a story in the three short lines of a haiku. The traditional haiku makes use of symbolism and imagery to connect to human nature and emotions. The reader is challenged to expand on the brevity of words used in the haiku, in order to gain a full picture, a true emotion, or insight to an experience. The haiku should leave a feeling with the reader, and a better understanding of a situation that everyone can face. Haiku are very enjoyable to read, and a rhythm is not important to the poem. ...read more.

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