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rhymeguy

Is this Haiku???????

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rhymeguy

Standing in the rain

Wet and cold and shivering

Warm and dry a memory.

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waxwings

Is the' 'topic' a true question? Whatever, it is hard to give it a proper and satisfactory an answer.

 

I do not know the moment that inspired you to write this. It seems to have the ingredients of a haiku, as any small observation can supply.

 

A most general notion, espoused by Henderson, perhaps one of the earlier and whose thoughts appear to be respected by other students, is that: the first two lines set the scene and the last produces a surprise, unexpected before the haiku is read but not after.

 

Here is one whose author's name I do not recall, but it comes from Henderson's book which I have misplaced causing me to recompose the original.

 

Harvest moon shining,

neighbor plays his flute tunelessly--

his wife died last week.

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rhymeguy

Waxwing,

Yes it is a real question and your response was helpful. Everytime I think I get it, I get confused. I have been reading the Haiku Train which seems to break the rules. I don't understand the rules so I don't know when breaking them is creative vs ignorant. I am comfortable with both but I like to know which one I'm being at any given time.

Thanks,

 

rg

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waxwings

There really are noi rules just quite a bit of confusion. In my opinion the Haiku Train is more of a fun exercize: everyone tries to write a mechanical equivalent of haiku: 3 lines totalling roughly 17 syllables and the result is most of the time 'poetically' significant. The fact that the last line of some other poets contribution has to become, with considerable modification, the first line of yours.

 

I have now mislaid/lost/or ripped off by someone my copy of Henderson's Haiku. It has most of the more notable haiku by the masters written out in romanji (with underscript of English meanings) and H's trhymed translations. In these, it is clear the last line creates an ahaaa moment and the first two are in grammatical prosody, just like our free verse. But there are departures.

 

I hope I can find that book or whoevr borrowed it and forgot to return it. There is no better book on haiku that I know of even if any of them are of value having. Tinker has one I do not (she mentions it in one of her post re haiku) and I hope she catches this and adds her educated opinion.

 

There is much attempt to create a frame for American haiku that considers the fact that it is the spirit and not the mechanical strictures. I am not sure I can honestly endorse all that is said and done but I am a purist though not against nonce forms or any experiment to make poetry more popular among the masses.

 

Haiku may be thought of as a brief summary/condensation (not necessarily very grammatical and having a sparse syntax) of some almost insignificant but real observation that gives rise to a reaction that satisfies the observer's/poets sense of rightness in the world.

 

Do take part in Haiku Train as best you can. That should not stop you from trying to write haiku not dependent on the rule of chaining. Chaining poems does happen every- and elsewhere.

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pawn shop

Last line I would have....what a memory (5)

5 - 7- 5 is what I usually write...but there's a 100 diffrent flavors, as they say.

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waxwings

No, no! leave last line alone. If anything replace the "a" by something like "is" or "is a". The count does not matter and +/- 1 or 2 syllables is now universally accepted. The reason is that the Japanese on (or onji) are not truly syllables the way we know them, and the onji count just does not translate, nor can be determined by one of us unless we go learn Japanese and read/hear a haiku in that tongue.

 

The "What" is already presaged, by counterpoint, in the first two lines, and, traditionally, I believe the last line is a unquestion-ed/able statement , not quizzical and not a declared exclamation.

 

On further look, first line could be "One who stands in rain," because I have heard that in English poems, which this is as well as haiku, -ing words are best avoided and used when nothing else is fully equivalent.

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Lake

I'm still learning how to write haiku, so I can't give it a yes/no answer. But I see you are trying to write one. icon_smile.gif

 

One thing that jumped out to me is that there's an overabundance of "and" in this short poem. Maybe others won't care.

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waxwings
I'm still learning how to write haiku, so I can't give it a yes/no answer. But I see you are trying to write one. icon_smile.gif

 

One thing that jumped out to me is that there's an overabundance of "and" in this short poem. Maybe others won't care.

 

I am glad you, Lake see and care about the"and's" some of which may be dispensed with, but becoming used to producing a poem as close as is possible, and in English, to the spirit of the classical haiku comes first. I can commiserate with rhymeguy and many others, since over a period of some 20 years I have not managed to do more than a handful that I am happy with.

 

Besides, rhymeguy is trying to stay close to the 5/7/5 model. In English the repetition of "and" as inthe second line is emotionally effective when used in the right context and I think rhymeguy has reason. He could take out the first, but not the other or the one in the last line. Of course, my take is no gospel and is open to dispute.

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Tinker

Hi rhyme guy, I like your little poem and in today's generous haiku world, it fits with many other poems that are called haiku. The bottom line is, the poem always comes first then the form. However for me to answer your question....

 

technically the biggest flaw in the poem to be a haiku is the "I". You are writing the poem as your personal experience...which is a good thing unless it is a haiku....

 

The haiku is egoless. The haiku writer stands back and observes but does not become personally involved, that is usually reserved for the tanka. Think zen...when writing haiku, you are one with the universe, not the center of it.

 

Also a no-no is the use of a gerund... ing is used only when absolutely necessary. Since the haiku is written in the moment, using a gerund is said to give an artificial urgency to the word. (although I can think of 1 really good haiku that had 3 ing words in it.) And, Lake is right, too many "and"s. Articles and conjunctions are used at a minimum.

 

Here is my version of how your poem might read without the I.

 

clouds burst

icy rain drops sting skin

warm dry coat, a dream

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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waxwings

tink,

 

I must demur. The masters did write "I" type haiku but shunned personal emotion, letting the haiku lead the reader to find some akin emotion. My Henderson book has gone astray, and I cannot give you a verbatim but recall one saying something like, "With some effort / I climb the tall tree and find / cicada already there."

 

While your overall thoughts in that last post I like and will study, but then you write a different haiku not a different take of rhymeguy's. It is quite haiku-like, but the second line explains/details the first which is not comme il faut, I think.

 

For same reason my version of your last line would be,

 

"dream is white, dry coat"

 

It is far from perfect but a very sharp break, fulcrum between line 2 and 3 seems to what a what haiku needs.

The last line would be better the

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Tinker

Hi waxwings, Of course you will find an "I climbed the tree" or a "my", "our", me in an occasional haiku by one of the masters, but it is not the norm for haiku. Often when it appears it is in the last line. There are always exceptions. but I believe you should know the rules before you break them.

 

I believe it is best to begin writing haiku understanding the basics, with the traditional and once mastered or sort of... then consider breaking the rules. For the most part, the haiku writer is the observer, the haiku is egoless.

 

And yes my haiku is very different from rhymeguy's poem deliberately. I was merely giving an example of the detatchment while still feeling the sting. Maybe I did it poorly... but it was more the idea of the form...

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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waxwings

What I said is never crtical, just observations, definitely amayeurish and attempts to perhaps shed more light on why haiku is difficult.

 

You did not do poorly, never will, and I have always agreed that haiku are ego-less. I can read Japanese haiku when rendered in romanji and do compare them with translations when given. What I have been able to obtain of that kind seem to show that the two first lines are more usually either parallel or contrapuntal to each other, and there is little if any inter-explanation between them. That is what makes the condensation of larger ideas possible.

 

Those are the basics, the soul of haiku not rules we must learn to break. I suppose there are some rules, but they are not that significant, at least for me, and exist mostly due to the huge differences between languages.

 

BTW, I should have said, for sake of better English and metaphor, "dream is (a)dry white coat."

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Tinker

Yes waxwings, I should have not used the word rules, more time honored traditions or guides that can be found when studying the haiku of the masters.

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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rhymeguy

WOW guys! I love all the input. I'm printing it off as we speak so I can look a more closely. I intend to respond more insightfully in a day or so. but I did not want to wait to say thank you. I hope you will take a look at my further comments.

Who knew such a little verse could inspire so much debate.

 

Thanks so much.

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waxwings

Thanks, tink and rhymey for the warm response to my definitely a bit feisty defence of what I so far think is the real poop. We should have a separate thread talking about our feelings on and discussing ways to make haiku an easier target.

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Lake

I find that Aha moment is very difficult for me to achieve, and sometimes it can only be perceived by intuition, hard to explain.

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Tinker

I agree Lake, that is what gives me the most trouble too. I am taking an on-line class right now and they don't go into the history of the haiku but they are right now requiring the aha moment or enlightenment to be simply written as a 3rd image, they reject any statement... so using rhyme guy's haiku as an example, the words memory or dream would be assumed and the last line could only be "a warm dry coat" Sometimes I find that impossible, but other times it seems to be the most natural thing to do...

 

~~Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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waxwings
I agree Lake, that is what gives me the most trouble too. I am taking an on-line class right now and they don't go into the history of the haiku but they are right now requiring the aha moment or enlightenment to be simply written as a 3rd image, they reject any statement... so using rhyme guy's haiku as an example, the words memory or dream would be assumed and the last line could only be "a warm dry coat" Sometimes I find that impossible, but other times it seems to be the most natural thing to do...

 

~~Tink

 

 

rhyme guy's haiku has all the needed ingredients. All one has to do is to get the chaff out. tinker's take is to reduce last line to the core. That itis "like a dream" emerges from the absolute contrast against the wet cold feeling the first two lines engender to make us wonder, "What next!"

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rhymeguy

Thanks for all the input and time each of you contributed to my question and my little attempt at Haiku. This is my summation:

- No “ings”

- No “ands”

- No “I”

- 17 syllable in 3 lines usually 5-7-5 ( more or less)

- First 2 lines prepare you for one thing and the last line gives you something else- but it fits when put together. A little irony perhaps.

- A snapshot in time; a finger snap/light bulb moment

- Few words- big picture.

- Lots of different opinions icon_biggrin.png .

- Someone has stolen waxwing’s book icon_biggrin.png

- Tinker like rules; waxwing not so much.

 

Now that sounds easy, but it is not. There is great wisdom and perception in brevity. Without the wisdom and perception all you have is the brevity. To capture the moment and only the moment requires that we see beyond the clutter and view only the essence.

 

That will take practice. I am not concerned about the form, but wisdom has thus far eluded me and at my age time is running out icon_biggrin.png .

 

Take a look at this:

 

In the winter rain

Dripping man, alone, hopeless

Oh well, life goes on.

 

rg

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