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waxwings

The form that is not to have a title

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waxwings

barefoot little boy

do not squeeze bright butterfly

it is much too short

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Aleksandra

Hello waxwings. Nice to read your work. Your haiku is wonderful, and I am glad that you like it too.

You can join us on our Haiku Train, or in our Poetry Playground in the topic HAIKU CHALLENGE where are many wonderful conversations and haiku poems, of course if you are fan of those forms.

 

Much enjoyed with your haiku.

 

Aleksandra


The poet is a liar who always speaks the truth - Jean Cocteau

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Larsen M. Callirhoe

hello waxwings love the haiku. very colorful and poetic

 

 

victor


Larsen M. Callirhoe

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Tinker

Hi waxwings, This is a very touching and vivid little poem. Though you use the syllable count of the standarized haiku your approach is a little different from the traditional haiku though the images you paint do create the emotion as well as any haiku I have read. It is a modern poem, focused and well crafted.

 

Your poem speaks to a specific person, I love that the reader instantly becomes a little barefoot boy. It intrigued me that your command is colorful without mentioning color. And then there is the reason for the command which brought me up short because it was a surprising conclusion. Nice.

 

~~Tinker


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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waxwings

I was about to generate a reply and clicked the post reply tab and got a empty little slot/widow the tab next to it saying Subject. What should I put in theat slot if anything.

Of course I immediately found I could not read what I was thinking to reply to. I backed out and scrolled down to the window below the topic's end frame.

 

THanks all for praising my little haiku (I do not make many of them), but as I tend to make all my poems as well crafted as I now how, I have a question. Tinker, how do you see my approach ais different even though I happen to have the 'classic' syllable counts-per-line. I presume it is that I address someone rather than just observing? Or is it the sense of the first two lines being perhaps but not neccessarily imperative. Except for that, the first two lines do conform being an exposition of what is seen and the last is a resolving observation/conclusion Of course, that is as far as may be possible in English. The traditional Japanese predilection is to have a season marked explicitly or implicitly. The latter being fulfilled by "barefoot" and "butterfly".

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Tinker

Yes waxwings you do have the classic syllable count and I got the kidai or season symbol. You touched all of the bases of the traditional haiku. But this was unique in that the poem not only observed and described the subject, it addressed it. Also you could say the 2nd line expanded upon the first image but it did it in anticipation of a future act rather than being in the moment of the image. This is a departure.... A good one but not traditional. I like the modern haiku.

 

If I might suggest, the 2nd line would be smoother if you wrote "don't squeeze the bright butterfly" I know articles such as "the" are often avoided to make room for more important descriptive syllables but in this case it gives the line a more fluid flow of words. Just my opinion.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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Tinker

Sorry, waxwings, next time you want to reply to a post, just scroll to the bottom of the page... see "Quick Reply" and start typing in the box. That will eliminated any need for subject or confusion.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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waxwings

Thanks again, Tinker'

Tinker wrote:

 

Yes waxwings you do have the classic syllable count and I got the kidai or season symbol. You touched all of the bases of the traditional haiku. But this was unique in that the poem not only observed and described the subject, it addressed it. Also you could say the 2nd line expanded upon the first image but it did it in anticipation of a future act rather than being in the moment of the image. This is a departure.... A good one but not traditional. I like the modern haiku.

 

If I might suggest, the 2nd line would be smoother if you wrote "don't squeeze the bright butterfly" I know articles such as "the" are often avoided to make room for more important descriptive syllables but in this case it gives the line a more fluid flow of words. Just my opinion.

 

~~Tink

 

Since this is a modern haiku and in English, I tried to give it as consistent a rhythmic feel as I could. We may, as individuals, differ on what may seem smoother. Your suggestion is otherwise entirely fair and proper. And I do defend the more or less automatic/natural use (or omission) of "the". In this case, using it would, to me, signal that the butterfly in question is the brighter one among other similar ones.

 

The latter is a pivotal contention, and I hope you say more on it and that others too chime in, or this forum would turn into a place for members just patting each other on the back and not lovingly helping each other to progress.

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Lake

Hi, welcome waxwings. I find you have a humorous title " The form that is not to have a title", that's so right for Japanese haiku. I like the images you have here, barefoot boy, bright butterfly and the twist of the last line though I can't say I completely understand it - what's too short?

 

Very interesting discussion between you and Tinker. I always struggle with the use of articles in haiku. I read haiku with and without articles and I can never figure out why. Then sometimes, I use articles as a filler for the syllable count. icon_redface.gif Now I'm really happy to see both of your points.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Lake

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tonyv

Hi, Waxwings. My knowledge and understanding of the haiku form is limited, but I do derive some enjoyment from reading haiku. I like your adherence to a syllable count even though English is an accentual language. In my view, the syllabic meter is not a "hidden puzzle" when employed in a haiku as it would be in other syllabic verse because the possibility of its presence is well-known and anticipated in English. I'm also in the camp that would try to use articles and punctuation in haiku if I myself were to compose it (again, in English, that is). Lastly, although I have made my own associations as far as the last line is concerned, as Lake, I also wonder what you mean by it (i.e. "What is too short?").

 

Tony


Here is a link to an index of my works on this site: tonyv's Member Archive topic

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waxwings
Hi, Waxwings. My knowledge and understanding of the haiku form is limited, but I do derive some enjoyment from reading haiku. I like your adherence to a syllable count even though English is an accentual language. In my view, the syllabic meter is not a "hidden puzzle" when employed in a haiku as it would be in other syllabic verse because the possibility of its presence is well-known and anticipated in English. I'm also in the camp that would try to use articles and punctuation in haiku if I myself were to compose it (again, in English, that is). Lastly, although I have made my own associations as far as the last line is concerned, as Lake, I also wonder what you mean by it (i.e. "What is too short?").

 

Tony

 

What is too short (and therefore precious) is life, any being's life, esp. and as symbolized by that of a butterfly.

 

Of course, we must use articles. Forgive me if I harp on what is obvious but commonplace enough to be overlooked. That is that the definite and indefinite articles are adjectives separating the specific, "that tree", the one that you or I just described or is somehow special among the other trees, from "a tree", the one that grows in Brooklin and not different from others in Brooklin but grows there and not just anywhere. Even the absence of either article signifies a subtle difference in 'quality. Seems to me poets do not exploit often enough the fine points of language in the simpler ways.

 

As for syllable counts, no syllabic form (supposedly insensitive to fact that English is accentual syllabic) can be considered well written if the syllable count is alowed to become more significant than all the other things that make language exude poetry. That is why, as I argue elsewhere, it is not all that easy to write the better cinquain (a la Crapsey) or an etheree.

 

Much haiku is done w. one, even two syllables less than the classic line.

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waxwings
Hi, welcome waxwings. I find you have a humorous title " The form that is not to have a title", that's so right for Japanese haiku. I like the images you have here, barefoot boy, bright butterfly and the twist of the last line though I can't say I completely understand it - what's too short?

 

Very interesting discussion between you and Tinker. I always struggle with the use of articles in haiku. I read haiku with and without articles and I can never figure out why. Then sometimes, I use articles as a filler for the syllable count. icon_redface.gif Now I'm really happy to see both of your points.

 

Thank you very much.

 

Lake

 

Of course we can use articles as fillers if we do it for the sense of rhythm and/or syllable count but we must strive to do so with the proper touch as I argue in my reply to tonyv.

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Tinker

Hi waxwing, Most modern English haiku have pretty much abandonned the classic 5/7/5 syllable count. As long as there are 17 syllables or less total and the poem meets the other criteria of a haiku, the distribution of syllables between lines is optional. The use of an article as filler for rhythm is perfectly acceptable, the use of an article for filler to meet the old 5/7/5 syllable distribution makes no sense to me.

 

few words in line

broken in rhythm

haiku

 

seventeen syllables or less

written in the moment - haiku

 

I love haiku discussions... always something else to learn about these little poems with the big heart.

 

Usually I wouldn't ask what a poet means but I am glad you explained it because "too short" didn't make sense to me either. I liked it because it was surprising and left me with the question what was too short? But if you wanted the reader to actually get "it", maybe it needs to be clarified. "life is much too short" is cliché but clear as a bell, with a little thought there has to be a compromise between cliché and clarity.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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waxwings
Hi waxwing, Most modern English haiku have pretty much abandonned the classic 5/7/5 syllable count. As long as there are 17 syllables or less total and the poem meets the other criteria of a haiku, the distribution of syllables between lines is optional. The use of an article as filler for rhythm is perfectly acceptable, the use of an article for filler to meet the old 5/7/5 syllable distribution makes no sense to me.

 

few words in line

broken in rhythm

haiku

 

seventeen syllables or less

written in the moment - haiku

 

I love haiku discussions... always something else to learn about these little poems with the big heart.

 

Usually I wouldn't ask what a poet means but I am glad you explained it because "too short" didn't make sense to me either. I liked it because it was surprising and left me with the question what was too short? But if you wanted the reader to actually get "it", maybe it needs to be clarified. "life is much too short" is cliché but clear as a bell, with a little thought there has to be a compromise between cliché and clarity.

 

~~Tink

 

We have two viewpoints. Both merit respect and examination. In my opinion rather few current haiku meet the "othet criteria" all that well and the fillers, articles, even prepositions and pronouns one could omit or not and w/o harming grammar, as the case may be should not be used merely to make up the syllable count. I have seen some where the onji may run to perhaps 20. But the Japanese feel of rhythm has to do with the alternation of line length and may include tone and intonation we do not, perhaps cannot perceive. My ear does not hear stress variation in French poems but 'hears' some accentuation the French may not sense.

 

Henderson (probably the earliest and more thorough a student of haiku characteristics whose ideas are referenced by many that have followed) thought the last line an often unexpected though apt discovery, one that is less likely thought of but apt nevertheless once it is revealed.

 

A clichee is a clichee. When one uses one, there has to be a hugely redeeming context. Haiku are too short for that. I can surely be wrong in thinking a butterfly may not survive handling, esp. by an unknowing eager child. "Squeeze" is my shorthand. Moreover, realization what the last line implies does not have to be instant, but may be deliberately be shaped to come with a delay.

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Tinker

ww, I agree with you that there are many modern haiku that do not meet the "other criteria"... but it seems to me to be the evolution of the verse form. I would prefer to see writers focus more on the "other criteria" than on the syllable count.

 

Your haiku does that, and yet somehow we come down to talking about the syllable count. You include an image, an expansion or parallel to the first image and an insight. Those are 3 important elements of any haiku. Far more important than the syllable count.

 

I have no idea what an onji "sound syllable" sounds like. I do know what it looks like, but when I write a haiku, I am not trying to write a Japanese haiku, I don't know the language and I don't know the characters. I can only use the tools at my disposal, and in English it is the syllable. Abandonning the 3 line concept and keeping my syllable count to 17 syllables or less gives me more freedom to focus on the other elements of the verse form.

 

Your line is not cliché, but I am guessing that the reason some of us found it unclear is because you were attempting to avoid using the obvious cliché. I was just trying to suggest that since there were 3 of us that admitted to not getting "it" (the it in the last line) there might be a clearer line without using the obvious. Just another perspective.

 

As I said in my first post, this is a touching and vivid poem. I like it and I enjoyed the discussion that it opened up. Thanks

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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rumisong

just to inject my 2cents into the side theme of this thread- I LIKE conforming to the 5-7-5 part of the form- even if its only in English, even if its willing to grab a word to fit, even in the face of those who know the form more intimately...

 

I like it that way, because that is the way of MY childhood- thats the way I learned it first, and ever since then, objections to the use of the 5-7-5 seemed "hoity" to me... (note, "ever since then" only implies an attitude that was formed as a child, and so in some way has become integral to my own enjoyment- In NOT saying that other opinions ARE "hoity" - Im saying thats how I grew up, so thats how Ive come to enjoy the form)

 

you know what its exactly like? its exactly like someone who loves tv dinners- you know, from the box with the tin foil tray - do they even make them any more?-- or cafeteria food... some times, a chicken cutlet from a cafeteria is just supurb! -- more often though, I would rather something from a fine French restaurant - but I can TOTALLY get the "cafeteria food" angle too...

 

thats what the 5-7-5 conformity is to me... its mashed potatoes and brown gravy, with a side of corn, to go with my cutlet ... and I love it that way...

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Tinker

LOL, rumi I wasn't trying to convince ww to abandon the 5/7/5 format. Most of my haiku are 5/7/5 also. The discussion came about from Lake's comment that sometimes she used an article for a filler to make the 5/7/5 count work. My point was, if the article isn't necessary for rhythm or identity it isn't necessary at all. To be short a syllable or 2 in a line is OK just as going over a syllable or two is OK but to honor the verse form try to keep it 17 syllables of less total. Communicating the heart of the poem always takes the highest priority, syllable count, 3 element format, kidai, being in the moment, all are secondary to the that.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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waxwings

The 17 syllables just happened. I was quite pleased w/self for getting that alliteration on b in a haiku making it more Western. Iam happy with all the comments others have made for there was nothing unacceotable in them. We are jointly trying to crystallize ideas rhat would make our haiku worthy of the idea.

 

I will change that last line when I feel it is unique and still right for the whole poem. I want tofind a way to point ti that what is short is life, but to say Life is too short is not merely a clichee but as prosy a statement as they come.

 

I want American, Western or modern haiku to still be no different than a Japanese haiku, one that would be Japanese if properly translated.

 

It is the special sense/feeling that a true haiku exudes just like a sonnet is a sonnet in the way good sonnets are, not merely 14 lines done in one of the several rhyming schemes. It is how it says in words what it wants to show.

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rumisong
LOL, rumi I wasn't trying to convince ww to abandon the 5/7/5 format. Most of my haiku are 5/7/5 also. The discussion came about from Lake's comment that sometimes she used an article for a filler to make the 5/7/5 count work. My point was, if the article isn't necessary for rhythm or identity it isn't necessary at all. To be short a syllable or 2 in a line is OK just as going over a syllable or two is OK but to honor the verse form try to keep it 17 syllables of less total. Communicating the heart of the poem always takes the highest priority, syllable count, 3 element format, kidai, being in the moment, all are secondary to the that.

 

~~Tink

 

THANKS Tink-

yes, I get that, I really do... and Ive come up with some pretty decent ones that felt perfectly free to ignore the "rule" of the form- maybe even the "best" ones...

 

but I personally ENJOY more, the ones that follow strictly- even to the point of adding in an article... my "priority" here is just different than yours- willingness to drop any "learnedness" accepting- I like cafeteria food AS MUCH AS (a bit less, but Im overstating for effect) I like fine dining food...

 

I feel like Pinocchio* - "Im a REAL poet! (?)"

 

*implying... "arent I?" - not as a plea, but as another way to understand a teaching

 

Tinker wrote:

 

Communicating the heart of the poem always takes the highest priority

 

I guess Im just saying, sometimes things are better said when they include a "for me" within them... ya know?

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Lake

Tinker wrote:

 

The discussion came about from Lake's comment that sometimes she used an article for a filler to make the 5/7/5 count work.

 

Me, bad. icon_redface.gif But glad to read such great discussions. I guess my problem is that I can't decide when to use and when not to use an article in haiku. So I cheated sometimes, when an article will affect the syllable count in a 5/7/5 form. Now I see the two party's points especially in this no title poem:

 

Tinker: "don't squeeze the bright butterfly", would be smoother, it gives the line a more fluid flow of words.

 

waxwings: "do not squeeze bright butterfly", give it as consistent a rhythmic feel. In this case, using it(article) would, to me, signal that the butterfly in question is the brighter one among other similar ones.

 

I really admire that both of you have a thoughtful explanation on using or omitting an article. But I also realize that it is hard because people read it differently, people have different preferences. As in an iambic pentameter, sometimes stressed and unstressed words are treated differently than what they are normally are.

 

As for the third line "it is much too short", here's my wild interpretation: at first I thought about "butterfly", since the pronoun "it" normally refers back to things before it. But how could you say a butterfly is short? Then, is the form (haiku) too short? That sounds funny, doesn't it. It's not untill reading waxwings' explanation, I can make the connection.

 

Bashō would be very pleased knowing haiku is still being practiced, discussed after so many years.

 

Thank you all.

 

Lake

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Tinker

No Lake, not bad, good... you got this great discussion moving.

 

ww, I did notice the alliteration at first read and thought it enriched the line... I should have commented on it then... sorry.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

For permission to use this work you can write to Tinker1111@icloud.com

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waxwings

A poet I know writes excellent religious poems, but (as he put it once) they are poems first: not sermons, not regurgitations of biblical passages, nor protestations of how deserving of salvation the poet is. That is why I love that Adelaide Crapsey's cinquain I posted earlier under another topic (Fibonacci).

 

If I have what I think is a significant short poem I have not reason to insist it is haiku if it is not. That would be tantamount to a Polish ditty to amuse children:

 

Old woman had a rooster

she kept stuffed into a boot

saying "Oh, my lovey, dear rooster,

how cozy you must feel."

 

I can, with the help of a dictionary, read Japanese (when written in romaji) and one of my top favorites is roughly

 

In our bedroom

a cold painful stab to heel--

comb of my dead wife.

 

A quatorzain (having the appropriate stanzaic layout, meter and rhyme scheme to meet the earmarks of one of the variants) is not a sonnet if it fails toproduce a certain feel we were taught to recognize in lit class.

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