Five Sisyphean inspired haiku poems

Painting in the featured photo was available through Creative Commons from Italian painter Pietro della Vecchia, likely painted around the early 1660s.

This doesn’t need much introduction, as the title explains it. But, I will say, I actually started out the night inspired by the word “hill” and thinking I would write some haiku poems based off of that image. But, naturally, I’ve always had the image of Sisyphus in my head, wrestling with its implications and meaning, and so, the throughline from “hill” to “Sisyphus” is rather obvious. I turned that inspiration into these five haiku poems. As you’ll notice, I get a bit silly and absurd, which, also feels … apropos.

Like I’ve said before, I do the traditional five/seven/five syllable structure for a haiku poem.

Down the hill he went,
like a reverse Sisyphus,
unsure where to go.

Up the hill he went,
pushing his ball, muttering,
“Why me? Oh, why me?”

Eternal hell was
that the rock was in his shoe.
Up the hill he went.

Co-conspirator
was the hill itself, a sort
of rock, in its way.

Camus, rejoice! For
he has acquired a leash
for this, his pet rock.

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