Produced by

Haiku Challenge: The "Ring" Cycle

Friday, April 06, 2012

As the Met Opera kicks off three complete "Ring" cycles - which each run about 15 hours in length - we pose a poetic challenge to our listeners. Summarize Richard Wagner's "Ring" cycle in the length of a haiku.

Reminder: A haiku is a 17-syllable poem that's separated into lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables. Host John Schaefer composed this haiku about the "Ring" cycle as an example:

"The Lord Of The Rings / is a greedy ugly dwarf / but he sure can sing"

Leave your haiku in the comments section below - or, you can tweet your haiku to us using the hashtag #ringhaiku. Or, email it to us at We might read your haiku on the air!



Comments [106]

Dennis Percher from Maplewood, NJ

River gold brought high
Emboldens gods so human -
Fires cleanse fierce cycle.

Apr. 08 2012 09:32 AM
John from Sitka

Rhyme but no reason?
Have you SEEN Act Three; Siegfried??
Pompous Wagnerphile!

Apr. 07 2012 11:17 AM
Peter Aldin from NYC

Correct version of a previous haiku:

Lov' sucks, power fails
and only greed will remain
So what's the use?

Apr. 06 2012 11:30 PM
Peter Aldin from NYC

Lov' sucks, power fails
and only greed will remain
so what's the use of it all?

Apr. 06 2012 11:24 PM
Anita Feldman from Manhattan

Sorry. Syllables
correctly counted, years and
centuries not so.

Amended haiku below:

Late Romantic kitsch!
Orfeo, three centuries
later, come to this?

Apr. 06 2012 03:03 PM

seems kinda cynical to schedule the ring for passover, eh?

Apr. 06 2012 03:02 PM
marilyn from nyc

Gold fire-fight. No kiss?
Music music everywhere --
Not a note to miss!

Apr. 06 2012 02:52 PM
marilyn from nyc

Gold fire-fight. No kiss?
Music music everywhere--
And not a note to miss!

Apr. 06 2012 02:48 PM
barry from new jersey

Why love Wagner's Ring?
Who uses teutonic lore
To say less with more?

Apr. 06 2012 02:41 PM
ellen diamond from NYC

if something sparkling
calls you from the river’s bed
cancel all your plans.

Apr. 06 2012 02:37 PM
Platypus Siegfried Daron from Astoria, Queens

MeadeHall confusion!
Rheingold beer instead of meade
Loki has struck again!

Apr. 06 2012 02:35 PM
Anita Feldman from Manhattan

Late Romantic kitsch!
Orfeo, two centuries
later,come to this?

Apr. 06 2012 02:34 PM
Claudia Levine from Teaneck

Gold found. Bro kills bro.
Wotan's kids beget heroes.
Betrayed! Sea wins gold.

Apr. 06 2012 02:26 PM
Gregory from Brooklyn, New York

A Ring For Every Finger!

Through epic struggle
we sit stunned and numb
twiddling opposing thumbs!

Apr. 06 2012 02:11 PM
Henry from New York City

The ring is stolen
Grandson is slain, ring retrieved
The gods reign endeth

Apr. 06 2012 10:19 AM
Jeff Clarke from New York, NY

Not exactly a haiku, but definitely a distillation of The Ring Cycle...

Apr. 06 2012 01:06 AM
Laura S. from Madison, NJ

Gods, rings, theft, love, sex,
Incest, Betrayal, Revenge,
Close your eyes, you’re dead.

Apr. 05 2012 11:25 PM
Ned Camuso from Montclair, NJ

Twilight of the Gods
Wagnerian fantasies
all begin with gold

Apr. 05 2012 11:04 PM
Judy Wieber from Greenlawn, NY

Perfect love I saw
And chased round and round and round
But grasp I could not

Apr. 05 2012 10:29 PM
Cynthia Eller

Teutonic breastplates
diaphragmatic breathing
oh please shoot me now

Apr. 05 2012 05:49 PM
Jeremy Lees from Colts Neck, NJ

Love and curse, one ends./
One is great, one is greater./
One will conquer all.

Apr. 05 2012 05:46 PM
Jennie Livingston from Brooklyn

Wotan and Fricka
Could've used some counseling.
(And a contractor.)

Apr. 05 2012 05:25 PM
Jennie Livingston from Brooklyn

Fafner and Fasolt
The One Percent has hired you:
get paid in advance!

Apr. 05 2012 05:04 PM
Kaori Kitao from Manhattan

The Ring lost and found
Wagner’s gods rage until dawn
Ravish us to death.

Apr. 05 2012 04:45 PM
Sam Leopold from Rockland

When I fell asleep
My wife took my hand and pressed
Never did I wake

Apr. 05 2012 03:20 PM
Laura from Manhattan from NYC

Absolute power
Corrupting all it touches.
Fire burns, love prevails.

Apr. 05 2012 03:01 PM
Laura from Staten Island

Maidens swim in Rhine
Woton's follies end the world
Maidens swim again

Apr. 05 2012 02:47 PM
Greg Masters from NYC

Oh, if Freud were there
No immolation needed
To quell these troubles

Apr. 05 2012 01:37 PM
Greg Masters from NYC

Oh, if Freud were there
No immolation needed
To quell these troubles

Apr. 05 2012 01:36 PM
Thrasher from Northeast

Aryan fallin'
Hard on for Mormon hottie
Underwear model

Apr. 05 2012 01:32 PM
Richard from New York

I wouldn't disgrace
the loveliness of Haiku
with darkness of heart

Apr. 05 2012 01:09 PM
YvonneM from New Jersey

Dream house of the gods
Crumbles to dust and ashes,
Civil suit pending.

Apr. 05 2012 07:32 AM
Emily Fellner Zeig from Astoria, Queens, NYC

No need for lyrics
Leitmotifs tell the story
Renounced love is death

Apr. 04 2012 10:47 PM
Rachel Jablin

Apr. 04 2012 02:04 PM

Sage of Frankfurt's gold
kills Nietzsche deader, Nazi.
Ich bin ein Bayreuth.

Apr. 04 2012 12:43 AM
Peter Harrison from Scotch Plains NJ

Steal gold, no love, greed.
No fear, kill dragon, find love.
Cheat, death, gold in Rhine.

Apr. 03 2012 10:01 PM
Hinda Keller Farber from New Rochelle, NY

Four nights of the Ring --
the music is heavenly;
oh, my sore rear end!

Apr. 03 2012 07:07 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Socialist fable,
Said Shaw. But Gunther's disguise
Turns it into farce.

(Correction of the one below)

Apr. 03 2012 06:10 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Socialist fable,
Said Shaw. Gunther's disguise
Turns it into farce.

Apr. 03 2012 06:07 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

There once was a dwarf
From Nantucket. Oops! Wagner's
Not fit for haiku.

Apr. 03 2012 06:04 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Debussy called it
Gorgeous sunset, not a dawn.
Four-night sunset, Claude?

Apr. 03 2012 06:02 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Rheingold, Walküre,
Siegfried, Götterdämmerung.
Too easy? Sorry!

Apr. 03 2012 06:00 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Some prefer Verdi.
For Aryan apocalypse,
You can't beat Wagner.

Apr. 03 2012 05:59 PM
Jayadev Yoga from West Village, Manhattan

Gold stolen. Ring made.
Ring swiped. Curse. Fat lady sings.
Gods die. Man survives?

Apr. 02 2012 05:13 PM
Paul Barnes from Manhattan, NY

Hot gold
Cold wet maidens
Woman trapped in ring of fire
Gods die.

Apr. 01 2012 04:44 PM
Ralph Linsker from New York

Ring lost, young hero
Pierces ring of fire, finds love,
Dies, takes gods with him.

Apr. 01 2012 03:09 PM
Matthew from Brooklynhalla

Proto-Nazi creep's
Evil dwarf starts Ring rolling
Down long hill to doom.

Apr. 01 2012 02:13 PM
Abby Farber

My Latest Wagner Ring Cycle Haiku:

Mein Beir is Reingold,
Der Drei Beir; I get Reingold
To Make Me Ein Ring.

Apr. 01 2012 01:44 PM
Miriam Gordon from Inwood

A Ring, as usual
Drives the power-hungry mad
This time women star

Apr. 01 2012 11:01 AM
Miriam Gordon from Inwood

Gold, incest, heroes, death
If you thought hobbits were cool
Check out Brünnhilde

Apr. 01 2012 11:00 AM
Miriam Gordon from Inwood

Bad man steals some gold
The gods can’t fix the mess
Solve it Katniss-style

Apr. 01 2012 10:58 AM
Aaron Sherber from Baltimore

The gold is stolen —
and fifteen hours later
it comes home again.

Apr. 01 2012 09:03 AM
John DePalatis from Sitka, AK

Exquisite moments
Pressed flow'rs in the pages of
tedious half-hours

Mar. 31 2012 11:03 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Hey, Rhine maidens, this
Could have been avoided, if
You'd shtupped that damn dwarf

Mar. 31 2012 11:00 PM
Gary from NJ

Pompous Norse myths from
egocentric composer,
lifetime listening

Mar. 31 2012 10:44 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

That long E flat chord
Depicting the Rhein must end
Sorry, Wotan et al.

Mar. 31 2012 10:43 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Heldentenors' lust
Brünnhilde's daddy issues
Dwarves can't buy me love

Mar. 31 2012 10:34 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

A Leitmotif here
Another Leitmotif there
Fifteen hours to go

Mar. 31 2012 10:06 PM
Scott McLarty from Washington, DC

Is Wagner's grand scheme
Spengler's pessimism or
Schopenhauer's Will?

Mar. 31 2012 10:01 PM
Elizabeth Connell from Melbourne, Australia

Old man god steals gold
But love is stronger than death
Even of the gods

Mar. 31 2012 07:58 PM
Elizabeth Connell from Melbourne, Australia

Gold ring shines in Rhine
Siegfried breaks the fiery ring
Heaven and earth burn

Mar. 31 2012 07:44 PM
Heleen leRoux from Pittsford, NY

"Not all at once but / break up the Ring Cycle / to savor Wagner"

Mar. 31 2012 07:29 PM
The Gods from Valhalla

The Machine creaks loud.
Needs WD-40.
We wish they had some.

Mar. 31 2012 06:14 PM
Chris from Flushing

Rheingold theft jolts Sky.
Kith and kin fight for each love....
Dusk of Gods dawns us.

Mar. 31 2012 04:32 PM
Joe Cohen from Manhattan

Ugh, that theme again?
Gotta catch the last train home.
Tell me what I missed.

Mar. 31 2012 09:49 AM
Tom Anderson from Pottstown, PA

Bad golden ring
Screws up everything
Down go gods.

Mar. 31 2012 09:32 AM
Amanda S from NYC

Dwarf steals gold from maids
All hell breaks loose for Wotan
Oops! Started a fire.

Rheingold! Rheinesgold!
The ring is a sucker's bet
End well: this will not

Wotan knows about
Brunnhild's pyro tendencies
Still gives her a match

Fricka nags Wotan
About his bastard daughter
Oops! Bye bye walhall

Worst hero ever
Loses ring & dies on wife
Time for some fireworks

Mar. 31 2012 07:46 AM

God's glory hunts his OWN ends

Mar. 30 2012 10:18 PM

Gold maidens shriek Thief
God’s glory hunts his end
All vanquished come twilight

Mar. 30 2012 10:15 PM
Jonathan from Parsippany

When asked what I do
After a long day at work
"Write Wagner haikus"

doesn't everyone?

Mar. 30 2012 10:00 PM
Jonathan from Parsippany

Rhine Maidens, a dwarf,
Two giants, Gods, Valkyries,
Mortals vie for gold

Mar. 30 2012 09:33 PM
Jonathan from Parsippany

Wotan stole a ring
In the end was it worth it?
Vahalla destroyed

Mar. 30 2012 09:03 PM
Jonathan from Parsippany

Had the Rhine Maidens
stored all their gold at the Fed
We'd have Vahalla

Mar. 30 2012 08:58 PM
Jonathan from Parsippany

A god steals a ring
but's taken by some giants
Sounds like Goldman Sachs

Mar. 30 2012 08:46 PM
Carolyn Monday from Knoxville

Valhalla to Earth
Drama encircles ev'ry
ethereal note!

Mar. 30 2012 08:04 PM
Joe Murray from New York

Weia! Waga! Au!
Ho-jo-to-ho! Hei-a-ha!
Hei-a-ho! Hoi-ho!

(Rhinemaidens, Mime,
Siegfried, Hagen)

Mar. 30 2012 07:58 PM
Dave Clark

Don't worry Wotan;
Your daughter returned the gold;
Rest well, now, O god!

Mar. 30 2012 06:56 PM
Kevin from Charlottesville

Wotan stole the gold
Walsungs, Valkyries, Siegfried
All the gods must die.

Mar. 30 2012 05:10 PM
Dayton Fenwick from Waterbury, CT

Sacred, yet condemned,
All would risk love for power,
To have the great Ring.

Mar. 30 2012 04:48 PM
David Joseffer from Chicago

Mix some strings and brass
Add a big pinch of incest
Bake 'till your ass hurts

Mar. 30 2012 03:29 PM
Francisca from Chile

Gods warring for power-ring
Burn down their castle.

Mar. 30 2012 01:54 PM

Lots of Sturm und Drang
Valk'ries take you for a ride
By the scenic route.

Mar. 30 2012 01:25 PM
Alison from Paris

Ladies! When your man
Takes your ring and hoes around:

Mar. 30 2012 01:09 PM
Karl Steel from Brooklyn

Stolen gold builds a bridge.
All's betrayed, men take over.

Mar. 30 2012 01:08 PM
Amanda S from NYC

And one for each opera...

E flat, F, A Flat
B Flat and C leitmotif
Rhinemaidens rejoice

Brother and sister
incest, valkyries and swords
'hilde naps in fire

Hero finds the sword
slays the dragon and hears birds
are we sure he's sane?

Rheinfährt, a warning
Hagan does not fool around
Thus twilight of gods

And bonus:

Been sitting all night
another three nights await
patience is a virtue

Mar. 30 2012 01:08 PM
Katherine from Portland, OR

A ring. A dragon.
A dwarf. Shrieking valkyries.

Mar. 30 2012 01:07 PM
Brett Martin from New Orleans

Gloomy German pens
Elaborate prequel to
'What's Opera, Doc?'

Mar. 30 2012 01:04 PM

Wagner's long epic
just like all other operas
everyone will die

Mar. 30 2012 12:56 PM
Robert Bateman from Reno, Nevada

Magic gold breeds hate
They all want to rule the world
This will end in tears

Mar. 30 2012 12:50 PM
Jon F

Swelling winds and brass
Wait: isn't that the love theme
That's played in Star Wars?

Mar. 30 2012 12:45 PM
Amanda S from NYC

Rheinfährts and a March
Leitmotifs abound tonight
Wagala weia!

Mar. 30 2012 12:40 PM
Kyler Stuckert from Columbus, OH

Herr Wagner himself
could not sit through his cycle;
Sixteen hours long.

Mar. 30 2012 12:05 PM
Ryan Patten from Columbus, OH

An opera goes here:
Ladies in big horn'ed hats
Two operas follow.

Mar. 30 2012 12:03 PM
Edward from Philadelphia, PA

Circuitous route
Through Dick's long-winded operas

Mar. 30 2012 12:02 PM
Chuck Anziulewicz from Spring Hill, West Virginia, USA

Wotan sows wild oats
And they come back to haunt him
Valhalla in flames

Mar. 30 2012 11:56 AM
Michael from NYC

For gold ring, lost love
Free Will? Godly Illusion
Cleanse, Fire! HO-YO-TO!

Mar. 30 2012 11:55 AM
John Petrozino from Manhattan

Woton's Lust Demands
Gold Ring from Nibelung dwarf
The heavens aflame

Mar. 30 2012 11:53 AM
Matt from New York, NY

Music for the gods
Tales of magic and monsters
Chime the rise of men

Mar. 30 2012 11:33 AM
Laura Price

gods covet gold ring
treachery abounds worldwide
sad senseless lessons

Mar. 30 2012 11:31 AM
Christopher Allen-Poole from highland lakes nj

Cursed gold and incest
Give Siegfried the evil ring
Bruhnhilde burns all

Mar. 30 2012 11:31 AM
Will Stevens

One dwarf's lust for gold
The one-eyed man's master plan
The Twilight of Gods.

Mar. 30 2012 11:29 AM

Three chicks guarding gold
It didn't turn out so well
Who's idea was that?

Mar. 30 2012 11:29 AM
Scott Rose from Manhattan

Three maidens jewelry
Love, strife, monologues, and c’mon --
Baby light my fire

Mar. 30 2012 11:28 AM
Scott Rose from Manhattan

Three maidens jewelry
Love, strife, monologues, and c’mon --
Baby light my fire

Mar. 30 2012 11:27 AM
Alexandra Leonzini from Perth

Fifteen hours long / heaven in musical form/ but, gosh!, must I pee!

Mar. 30 2012 11:27 AM
Duffy Laudick from Fort Collins, CO

Golden ring does shine
The fate of gods and of men
that of love and war.

Mar. 30 2012 11:23 AM

Leave a Comment

Register for your own account so you can vote on comments, save your favorites, and more. Learn more.
Please stay on topic, be civil, and be brief.
Email addresses are never displayed, but they are required to confirm your comments. Names are displayed with all comments. We reserve the right to edit any comments posted on this site. Please read the Comment Guidelines before posting. By leaving a comment, you agree to New York Public Radio's Privacy Policy and Terms Of Use.