Tina Lewis Rowe

Insights, Information & Inspiration

Green, Unspoken Thoughts….

What are some thoughts you should express?

green, unspoken thoughts,
should I say them,
or will they even matter?

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry with 17 syllables (a definition that does nothing to convey the spirit or beauty of haiku!). I enjoy this site about haiku: tinywords. When I read haiku I am often incredibly impressed with the emotions and meaning that can be compressed into only a few lines. Perhaps that is why, when someone sent me the haiku shown above, I found it so evocative. I could imagine a bud of thought waiting to unfurl its leaves into words–maybe very emotional words–that might or might not make a difference. Should they be said?

That poem stood alone, on the first page of a speech someone wanted me to review, so I thought it particularly apt. Until I went to the next page and realized what the writer was telling me: He had put some ideas for his speech in green font so they would stand out from the rest. I was to advise him about whether or not those words would add enough that they should be included. Not haiku, just an editing note!

Nevertheless, in the few years since I first received that message, I have had many green, unspoken thoughts–and I would imagine you have had some too: Words I felt I could not say or would not say, but should have. The concept does not only apply to saying pleasant things. As a supervisor or manager I have sometimes not spoken, to avoid a negative response, when I might have saved many people a lot of trouble by simply saying something when I knew it needed to be said.  On the other hand, I have often spoken before my thoughts were fully developed. Or, I have neglected to say something that might have changed the way someone felt about themselves, the world, or me, right at that moment.

In the poem, The Fools Prayer, by Edward Rowland Sill, the court jester reflects what many of us have questioned on occasion:

“The ill-timed truth we might have kept–
Who knows how sharp it pierced and stung?
The word we had not sense to say–
Who knows how grandly it had rung?”

 Even though “green, unspoken thoughts” was not written to be poetic, it has stuck in my mind. We had snow last week and likely more to come, but there are many green buds that will unfurl into something special one day soon. Maybe your thoughts are that way as well.

April 13th, 2008 Posted by | Life and Work, Personal and Professional Development | 3 comments


  1. This is a lol post! I have written haiku style poetry but I don’t know if mine have been as good as the accidental one!

    Comment by PoetryNMotion | April 14, 2008

  2. Why does it not surprise me you would think that was poetry, AND figure out a way to use it in training? 🙂

    Comment by Chris Martinelli | April 14, 2008

  3. Thanks Tina, for letting your green thoughts blossom into something even more beautiful and helpful.

    Comment by Robert N. Adams | April 15, 2008

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