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Penn State in 17 Syllables: Send Us Your Best Penn State Haikus

Japanese poet Santōka Taneda once said, “A haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.” Even if you didn’t pay attention in high school English class, haikus can be a powerful way to express feelings about a place or theme in a quick, digestible way.

The New York Times did a great user-generated feature this spring collecting haikus to describe what New York City meant to its diverse communities. Like New York, I believe our community in the Nittany Valley elicits profound emotions that could be conveyed beautifully through haiku.

I’m asking you to put on your poetry boots and submit your best Penn State-themed haiku using the form below (or this link). Your haiku can be anything that helps tell the story of our university, our town, or our community in an interesting way. Your 17 syllables can tell a specific story or cover a more abstract theme — anything goes, as long as it’s about Penn State and makes us reflect, laugh, think, or inspires us in some way.

We will select the best 50 or so haikus and publish them next week along with a poll for readers to select their favorite. The top vote-getter will receive a signed James Franklin football (pictured below). Please limit yourself to one entry and submit it by 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 19.


About the Author

Kevin Horne

Kevin Horne was the editor of Onward State from 2012-2014 and currently holds the position of Managing Editor Emeritus, which is a fake title he made up. He graduated from Penn State with degrees journalism and political science in 2014 and is currently seeking his J.D. at the Penn State Dickinson School of Law. A third generation Penn Stater from Williamsport, Pa., Kevin is also the president of the graduate student government. Email: [email protected]


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