Creative tips for making haikus and mixed tapes

Being creative isn't as difficult as you might think. Here are two easy ways to use poetry and music to express yourself and create a unique gift for someone close to you.

Creative tips for making haikus and mixed tapes

Write a proper haiku

A haiku is a minimal Japanese verse form consisting of three lines and 17 syllables. Beyond that, everything is entirely up to you.

  • In Japan, strict rules govern the elements of the haiku. It has to consist of three untitled, unrhyming lines of five, seven and five syllables respectively.
  • There should be "cutting" — a division of the poem into two ideas that contrast and illuminate each other.
  • The haiku should allusively describe a concrete scene or image or event, and it should contain a word, called a kigo, that hints at the season in which it's set (the "green" that suggests spring in the example below).
  • Metaphors and personal emotions aren't allowed, though the odd one may creep in.

Here's a translation of a classical haiku about a frog:

  • At the ancient pond
  • A sudden flash of green legs;
  • The ghost of a splash.

Some will say you must stick to the classical form, or it's not a haiku. But in poetry you're at liberty to meddle with the form if you feel that the result will be a better poem.

  • So, if you wish, you can give your haiku a title, make it rhyme or use imagery. Above all, you should feel free to express any feelings or make any point that inspires you.

Compose a perfect music compilation

Creating a music mix is fun and absorbing. It allows you to include only favourite tracks and makes a very personal gift.

  • Use online music stores for digital singles. The choice is almost limitless.
  • Make a playlist. Search for songs by name or title, listen to them and drag those you want into your playlist. This will be a rough draft. Edit it as you go: add to it, drop things, change the running order.
  • Start with a couple of stunners. Draw the listener in.
  • Vary the pace. Follow a soft and dreamy track with something loud and electrifying.
  • Make it meaningful. Choose songs that evoke memories of the day you met, a romantic holiday, that first date — or that show how you feel.
  • Don't get carried away. Anything more than 16 to 20 tracks, however good the music, will become a slog.
  • Make the final track count. Choose something that stays in the mind. Let it impart something significant to the listener.
  • When you're thrilled with your mix, burn a disk.
  • Add finishing touches. Create artwork for your CD and give it a title. You can print off artwork online to add a personal touch.

Creative expression is a great way to showcase your talents. Try making a haiku or mixed tape with these easy tips!

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