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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

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