Life Day 24269: National Haiku Poetry Day

December 22, 2013 at 12:01 am | Posted in Today's Reasons To Celebrate | Leave a comment

Today is Sunday, December 22, 2013. Good morning poetry lovers. Today’s holidays are:

National Haiku Poetry Day:

This is the second of, apparently, two holidays centered around the Japanese form of poetry, Haiku, this year. As far as I can determine, they are not related, but both are called National Haiku Poetry Day.

A haiku is a form of Japanese poetry that is highly structured.  Introduced to the West in the 1950′s, the haiku grew into a phenomenon and was particularly enbraced by beat poets like Jack kerouac. While traditional English haiku is made up of 17 syllables over three phrases (5-7-5), the format is actually more flexible. What distinguishes haiku is the use of a “season” word and the juxtaposition two different elements. Still, even these markers are flexible, and the haiku has inspired many pseudohaiku and other variations.

Haiku poetry
Is more difficult to write
Than you might expect.

The above is an example of a westernized variation of the Japanese haiku format because it does not contain a “season” word.

Winter brings the snow
It is far too cold for me
It makes my bones ache.

In the haiku above, the topic is winter and it contains a “season” word, so it is a true form of Japanese haiku. Neither of the above, by any stretch of the imagination, is an example of a “good haiku”, but they are the best that I could come up with on the spur of the moment.

To celebrate this holiday, try writing a few haiku poems of your own; then share them with me in a comment.

National Date Nut Bread Day:

Date nut bread is the perfect treat for the holiday season. It is delicious, healthy, and easy to make.

The first date nut bread recipe appeared in print in 1939, but dates are one of the world’s oldest fruits. Date seeds have been found in archaeology excavations of sub-tropical areas around the world. Historians believe that the ancient Moors brought the date to Spain; who later introduced it to America. Dates are notorious for their high sugar content, so it is no surprise that most date nut bread recipes do not call for any additional sweeteners.

To celebrate National Date Nut Bread Day, try your hand at baking a homemade loaf of this festive treat. Enjoy it plain, or if you prefer, top it off with a little cream cheese frosting.

On this date in:

1775 – The first Continental naval fleet was organized in America under the command of Ezek Hopkins.

1807 – The U.S. Congress passed the Embargo Act, designed to force peace between Britain and France by cutting off all trade with Europe.

1864 – During the American Civil War, Union Gen. William T. Sherman sent a message to U.S. President Lincoln from Georgia. The message read, “I beg to present you as a Christmas gift the city of Savannah.”

1877 – The “American Bicycling Journal” went on sale for the first time.

1894 – The United States Golf Association was formed in New York City.

1894 – French army officer Alfred Dreyfus was convicted of treason in a court-martial that triggered worldwide charges of anti-Semitism. Dreyfus was eventually vindicated.

1910 – U.S. Postal savings stamps were issued for the first time. They were discontinued in 1914.

1939 – Gloria Jacobs became the first girl to hold a world pistol record when she shot 299 out of a possible 300 points. She was 17 years old at the time.

1943 – Sporting goods manufacturers received permission to use synthetic rubber for the core of baseballs.

1941 – British Prime Minister Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for a wartime conference with U.S. President Franklin Roosevelt.

1956 – Colo, the first gorilla to be born in captivity, was born at the Columbus, Ohio zoo.

1956 – The last British and French forces evacuated Egypt.

1961 – James Davis became the first U.S. soldier to die in Vietnam, while U.S. involvement was still limited to the provision of military advisers.

1984 – New York City resident Bernhard Goetz shot four black youths on a Manhattan subway. Goetz claimed they were about to rob him.

1989 – Romania’s hard-line Communist ruler, Nicolae Ceausescu, was overthrown in a popular uprising.

1990 – Lech Walesa was sworn in as Poland’s first popularly elected president.

1991 – The body of Lt. Col. William R. Higgins, an American hostage murdered by his captors, was found along a highway in Lebanon.

1996 – A car bomb exploded in Belfast, injuring a known IRA supporter. Police suspected that Protestant loyalists were responsible for the attack.

1998 – A unit of RJR Nabsico pled guilty to attempting to smuggle cigarettes into Canada.

2001 – Thirty Afghans, including two women, were sworn in as part of the new interim government in Afghanistan. Hamid Karzai was the head of the post-Taliban government.

Noteworthy Birthdays:

Giacomo Puccini 1858 – Composer.

Connie Mack 1862 – Baseball player, manager, team owner.

Andre Kostelanetz 1885 – Conductor, arranger.

Dame Edith Margaret 1907 – English actress.

Lady Bird Johnson 1912 – Former First Lady.

Gene Rayburn 1917 – Radio and TV personality, Game Show host.

Frankie Darro 1917 – Actor.

Barbara Billingsley 1922 – Actress.

Peggy Castle 1927 – Actress.

Hector Elizondo 1936 – Actor.

Steve Carlton 1944 – Baseball pitcher.

Barry Jenkins 1944 – Musician. (The Animals)

Diane Sawyer 1945 – TV journalist, news anchor.

Steve Garvey 1948 – Baseball first baseman.

Robin Gibb 1949 – Musician. (The Bee Gees)

Maurice Gibb 1949 – Musician.  (The Bee Gees)

Rick Nielsen 1950 – Musician. (Cheap Trick)

Jan Stephenson 1951 – Pro golfer (LPGA)

BernNadette Stanis 1953 – Actress.

Ralph Fiennes 1962 – Actor.

Dina Meyer 1968 – Actress.

Lauralee Bell 1968 – Actress.

Heather Donahue 1974 – Actress.

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