Poets and writers in English often wrote death poems, but they tended to be in some sort of rhyme scheme with a rhythmic meter. In general, only writers engaged in poetry about and for their own deaths. In Japan, though, such poems were often written by samurai, monks, nobility, writers, poets, and even sometimes by farmers who’d had some formal training in reading and writing. These poems differed a lot from the typical rhyming couplets or quatrains of English writers, as the poems from Western tradition often tended to be silly humor or other such doggerel.
That’s not the goal here. Here I’d like for people to write a somewhat serious poem, ideally a haiku or tanka, from the point of view of someone who is going to die and knows it. Haiku in English has been often been taught as a nature poem of three lines alternating as five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables. Not only is that not really the case (haiku in Japan are often written in one vertical line), but it has done such a disservice to the form of haiku that poets who work in the form are often overlooked.
I hope to help people produce better haiku through this game, and to at least come to an understanding that writers should be respectful to the haiku form. Along with that desire, the game is also an attempt at pushing people into the arms of poetry by maybe trying to write something they haven’t before. So many people say they don’t like or don’t understand poems. It’s my sincere hope that this helps break that block.