The dream of the Dragonflies – A death poem

“Here I’d like for people to write a somewhat serious poem, ideally a haiku or tanka, from the point of view of someone who is going to die and knows it. Haiku in English has been often been taught as a nature poem of three lines alternating as five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables. Not only is that not really the case (haiku in Japan are often written in one vertical line), but it has done such a disservice to the form of haiku that poets who work in the form are often overlooked. And since everyone thinks they know what haiku are, there are thousands upon thousands of awful poems that simply miss the boat.”

Cameron Mount (@cameronmount)

You have been told. Write your death poem. If you need more guidance Cameron has written a lovely poetry game for death poems to help us learn how to do it well. There is also a why ‘no 5-7-5’ post referred to in the game that will give further guidance.



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There are 9 written responses to this assignment.

The Frozen Tanka

Written by James Campbell on July 10, 2015 10:58 pm
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Frozen land of old,
Place that only knows of ice,
Where time is frozen,
Whose cold secrets I have learned,
Whose secrets are frozen ice

Haikus don’t have titles, silly

Written by Steven Hartzell on July 10, 2015 10:28 pm
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Feel the cold breeze
rushing down my spine
Now I close my eyes


Written by Heidihigh on July 10, 2015 7:41 pm
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Oh, it’s you again
Come close, even though it hurts.
Soon I’ll feel nothing.

I think I might go for a walk

Written by @madamezubidar on July 10, 2015 1:56 pm
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I can’t feel the pain
But still vomit and tremble
In numbness


Written by on July 10, 2015 11:31 am
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I can see the end,
Everyone feels this torture,
Is this a sick joke?

Joes Poem

Written by @EmilySMayy on July 10, 2015 10:25 am
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Ride flying saucers,
is how I want to live on.
Roll down the window,
my last breath in before dawn.
Everything will be OKAY.

At the End

Written by @sandramardene on July 10, 2015 10:08 am
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Under desert stars
A small owl
Lifts the white feather out
Of the dying fire.

Anas platyrhynchos death poem

Written by Anna Cow, on July 10, 2015 6:35 am
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Little yellow Anas platyrhynchos
Solis orthus swimming
with Esox lucius

(duck, sunrise, pike)

none of that

Written by @dogtrax on July 10, 2015 6:32 am
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no lights, shining;
no stars, falling;
no moon, floating;
no birds, singing:
i go out with only wonder,
leaving little more than words
behind that i once composed
when i was still alive,
writing as if death were always
on the horizon,
as it is.