About the SA Blog Network



The art of science and the science of art.
Symbiartic HomeAboutContact

Can You Scaiku?

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Email   PrintPrint

A couple weeks ago, I was reminded how much I enjoy the poetry format known as haiku. On a whim, I threw out a tweet soliciting #scaiku, science-themed haiku, to see what delights my tweeps would come up with. Some made me laugh out loud:

This one time at lab
we dropped acid and then we
had to clean it up
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

Each person in lab
says a different prayer when
sacrificing flies
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

“Eureka!” I shout,
Every now and again, just
to keep up morale
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

Some made me go hmmm…

Science: a quest for
the highest quality of
human ignorance.
– Katura Reynolds, @katura_art

I don’t find answers
when I’m lucky, confusion
at a higher level
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

like protons we push
away and hold together
this strong force called love
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

And one answered an age-old and surprisingly relevant question, given that today is Easter Sunday, unofficial day of the hard-boiled egg:

naturally dyed easter eggs

Fish lay eggs long before
chicken had evolved. so I
guess that answers that
-Public Communication for Researchers, @PCRcmu

For those of you who need a refresher, haiku (in English) is a three-line poem where the first and third lines contain five syllables, the second line contains seven. Like so:

Five syllables first,
Then seven syllables next,
and finally, five.

But to the true haiku aficionado, the abomination I wrote above is not haiku. Why? Well, I just learned that true literary haiku consists of two parts that span the three lines. And when I think about it, the best haiku I’ve encountered flow in a way my pseudo-haiku above does not, spreading phrases from one line to the next.

Many thanks to the person/people behind Public Communication for Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and Katura Reynolds for permission to post their great #scaiku.

Feeling inspired? Add your #scaiku in the comments section or tweet it out to the masses with hashtag #scaiku.

Kalliopi Monoyios About the Author: Kalliopi Monoyios is an independent science illustrator. She has illustrated several popular science books including Neil Shubin's Your Inner Fish and The Universe Within, and Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Find her at Follow on Twitter @symbiartic.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

Previous: Blood Goats. You Heard Me. More
Next: Find All the Absurdities!

Rights & Permissions

Add Comment

Add a Comment
You must sign in or register as a member to submit a comment.

More from Scientific American

Email this Article