Stress Illness Haiku

Haiku are three line poems of 5, 7 and 5 syllables first composed in 17th century Japan.  A friend and colleague who writes haiku urged me to give it a try.  I laughed and said the analytic (left) part of my brain is so overused compared to the creative (right) part of my brain that I probably tilt slightly to the left when I walk.  She persisted, though, so I went on to suggest that writing bad haiku is probably one of the easiest tasks in literature and writing good haiku one of the most difficult.

Though I have never written a poem of any kind, our conversation left me wondering about the challenge of expressing the essence of my clinical work in 17 syllables.  A few days later, when my friend sent me a witty, cajoling email (consisting only of one haiku), I responded with the following:

Symptoms are language.

Many years to learn the words

with which the soul speaks.

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