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Poetry, Emotion, and Architecture

Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Feb 10, 2021

Consider the rooms and buildings you spend time in and how they make you feel. In this fun activity, you’ll learn how to create short, poignant haiku poems to express the emotions you experience from different spaces.

Above photo of the Garden Room at Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona by Andrew Pielage.

Have you ever been inside a space that made you feel relaxed, calm, and happy? Has a room ever annoyed you the minute you walked in?

With this activity, we will explore these emotions through a Japanese form of poetry called a haiku. The haiku follows a 5, 7, 5 syllable pattern with 5 syllables in the first line, 7 syllables in the second, and 5 in the third. A syllable is a part of a word that contains a beat.

Find out the number of syllables in a word by placing your hand just under your chin. Then, as an example, say “Frank Lloyd Wright” out loud. How many times did your chin hit your hand? 3! That means “Frank Lloyd Wright” has 3 syllables.

Haikus use the senses to describe a scene and they don’t need to rhyme. Below, is a sample haiku describing the Garden Room at Taliesin West.



Burnt orange velvet
Cozy cushions welcome friends
Voices fill the air



Activity Instructions:

1. Imagine a specific room and one specific moment within the room that makes you feel positive.

2. Consider colors, textures, sounds, and scents . Write down words or phrases in the “Description Box” below.

3. Consider your emotions and how this space makes you feel. Happy? Relaxed? Excited? List your feelings in the “Emotions Box” below.

4. Use your list of words from the “Description Box” and “Emotions Box” to create a haiku poem. Remember to count syllables (5, 7, 5) for each line.

5. Now, repeat the exercise again to describe a space that makes you feel negatively. Discuss your poems with family members and friends, and share your memories of these spaces.



Description Box:

Example: “Rough, bumpy off-white walls.”

Emotion Box:

Example: “Calm, surrounded by family.”



Would you like to explore Frank Lloyd Wright’s two personal homes for yourself? Experience Taliesin West in Scottsdale, Arizona or Taliesin in Spring Green, Wisconsin by making advance reservations for a tour.

visit taliesin & taliesin west