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goldenlangur

HAIKU CHALLENGE

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

A beautiful and moving collection of lament.

 

 

The lingering sadness in your second haiku is very effective. Also regret that a life has been cut short. The unfinished lines... suggesting the abrupt end not only of life but also perhaps of poetic work, dreams, greatness.

 

I also love the contrasts between the 'foggy morning' and the 'blooming camellia' - that sense that the physical/natural world carries on with its rhythm, while the person's life has been put out of sync. The fog of the poet's grief and the 'blooming camellia' is very poignant.

 

In this the moonless night mirrors the pall of loss. I wondered if you meant tied boat in the final line?:

 

moonless night

gently, a lone tarn rocks

a tired boat

 

 

 

Thank you for sharing these.

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Lake

Thanks Golden for your careful read and thoughtful comment.

 

I'm glad to see how you interpret the "unfinished lines" and your like of the contrast of "foggy morning" and "blooming camellia".

 

in this the moonless night mirrors the pall of loss. I wondered if you meant tied boat in the final line?:

 

moonless night

gently, a lone tarn rocks

a tired boat

 

I meant "tired", but after reading your "tied", now I'm thinking if "tied" is better than "tired" since "tied" is more objective?

 

This group is rushed, too much sentiment, I'm afraid.

 

Thanks again, Golden.

 

Lake

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rumisong

oh, Im sorry for coming in so late on this, but the "tired boat" really struck me when I first read it... I really did like that line...

 

I was confused about "tarn" ... my brain wanted to read it as "tern" - such as the variety of bird, on the bow- obviously too light to rock a boat, but the image was fun for me- but I had to look up tarn again, its not a word we use much around these parts- so now I understand the lake was rocking the boat...

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Aleksandra

Ah I miss these threads about haiku and tanka. It really needs some life in these again. Come on, where is Goldenlangur to give some life back here icon_smile.gif - GL I hope you are fine.

 

And others, rumi, lake??? Let's see some activity here again icon_wink.gif.

 

I can't do much here alone icon_neutral.gif

 

Just I miss you guys icon_wink.gif

 

Aleksandra


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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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waxwings

I am new here and hope to not be the bull in the China shop, but not contributing all I think I might have would be a disservice to the fine people I have found here. I feel great when among others who seriously try to improve their craft.

 

I have been writing essays for now some 70 plus years and poems for some 65 (in English for the last 27) and believe in having as complete as possible a backround in anything that touches on and perhaps furthers my ability in the latter craft.

 

Haiku I read here each bear a centre, a core that is definitely poetic and otherwise significant, and I applaud the effort. But, before I join in the fray, I would love to know how 'modern' you all wish your haiku to be. I have done an extensive study and am entirely open to any thoughtful approach.

 

I try to model mine after the Japanese to the extent Western and esp. the American/English language(e) and culture alow. I may be all wet thinking that no matter how lovely and worthy a three line poem is, not all such can be called haiku, as just any quatorzain cannot be called a sonnet.

 

It is certain Japanese write haiku with element count not necessarily 5/7/5, but the short/long/short line patterns seems to have some special magic. This seems to hold among those who associate with each other in defining todays English haiku and accept other line counte (as do the Japanese). The need for kigo is uncertain. Many Japanese haiku are to obtuse for me to guess if there truly is a kigo present.

 

Then there is a certain major semantical structure to haiku in general which I find challenging to replicate.

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goldenlangur

waxwings wrote:

 

I would love to know how 'modern' you all wish your haiku to be. I have done an extensive study and am entirely open to any thoughtful approach.

 

Hello waxwings,

 

Nice to meet you icon_smile.gif I suppose we have 400 years of history to contend with but definitely our haiku should be as relevant to our times and lives as it was for Basho. The haiku's history and evolution from the simple hokku poetic form to the present haiku is a long one peppered with changes and adaptations. I don't think that there's a hoary haiku ideal that we need to conform to. After all Basho moved the haiku form from using Chinese classical words and lyrical images to writing in Japanese and using simpler images. This was a huge shift from the poetic practices of his time. For instance instead of waxing lyrical about the songs of the frog Basho's oft quoted haiku simply describes the plop sound of the frog jumping into the pond and the reader gets a sense of an ancient silence being broken.

 

 

Having said that, I agree that we still need some template to work to and your point about Japanese and American/English having different characteristics is spot-on.

 

I try to model mine after the Japanese to the extent Western and esp.

the American/English language(e) and culture alow. I may be all wet

thinking that no matter how lovely and worthy a three line poem is, not

all such can be called haiku, as just any quatorzain cannot be called a

sonnet.

 

 

 

 

Japanese is syllabic while American/English is time-stressed so haiku

writers in American/English have evolved a short long short rather than

the 5 7 5 which is based on the syllabic Japanese language. Some even

use a free form dispensing with the short long short lines but keep the

overall syllables to 17 and below but not exceeding 17.

 

 

 

But it is in the spirit of the haiku that most try to adhere to so that we don't end up with a 3 line poem but a haiku, just as you've argued about the sonnet. And yes ther's some debate about the centrality of the kigo. But for what it's worth I think without a kigo a haiku loses something of its essence. I don't think we need the typical cherry blossoms, dew and other details but some allusion to the season is important to differentiate haiku for instance from its cousin, the senryu. Herein in the effective use of the kigo is the challenge for contemporary haiku writers.

 

Another aspect of the haiku which is essential is the wabi-sabi element - that sense of melancholy and beauty in a moment of solitude a beauty revealed in all its simplicity and bareness. Keene describes it as 'an understatement hinting at greater depths'.

 

Towards the end of his life Basho strove to simplify his haiku even more by trying to remove the use of verbs, which he came to see as giving the haiku an emotional baggage. He tried to achieve this by using the ideal of karumi or lightness of touch by using fewer verbs or none.

 

 

The essence of the haiku and its principal difference from other forms is when it is absolved of the writer - the writer disappears and the poem resonates with a universality across all boundaries. This ego-less state, I believe is something that is hardest to achieve and yet that element which gives haiku its fundamental beauty and appeal.

 

 

Wonderful to have this exchange and of course needless to say this is just my experience of the haiku.

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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Tinker

Wow gl, after reading this discourse I think I will go back to the drawing board and rewrite my haiku description in the Verse Forms forum. Your grasp of the form shows in your work. Your explaination here of how and why will help anyone who it reads it to be a better more thoughtful haiku writer. Thank you.

 

~~ Tink


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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goldenlangur
Wow gl, after reading this discourse I think I will go back to the drawing board and rewrite my haiku description in the Verse Forms forum. Your grasp of the form shows in your work. Your explaination here of how and why will help anyone who it reads it to be a better more thoughtful haiku writer. Thank you.

 

~~ Tink

 

Tink you're incredibly generous in your commendation here. But I sincerely believe that your fabulous treasure trove of research on all the forms including the Asian forms is way above anything I've ever attempted icon_redface.gif

 

Yes, the haiku and tanka have taken a hold of me but I don't think that your research and information on these forms are any less.

 

Thank you.

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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waxwings
waxwings wrote:

 

I would love to know how 'modern' you all wish your haiku to be. I have done an extensive study and am entirely open to any thoughtful approach.

 

Hello waxwings,

 

Nice to meet you icon_smile.gif I suppose we have 400 years of history to contend with but definitely our haiku should be as relevant to our times and lives as it was for Basho. The haiku's history and evolution from the simple hokku poetic form to the present haiku is a long one peppered with changes and adaptations. I don't think that there's a hoary haiku ideal that we need to conform to. After all Basho moved the haiku form from using Chinese classical words and lyrical images to writing in Japanese and using simpler images. This was a huge shift from the poetic practices of his time. For instance instead of waxing lyrical about the songs of the frog Basho's oft quoted haiku simply describes the plop sound of the frog jumping into the pond and the reader gets a sense of an ancient silence being broken.

 

 

Having said that, I agree that we still need some template to work to and your point about Japanese and American/English having different characteristics is spot-on.

 

I try to model mine after the Japanese to the extent Western and esp.

the American/English language(e) and culture alow. I may be all wet

thinking that no matter how lovely and worthy a three line poem is, not

all such can be called haiku, as just any quatorzain cannot be called a

sonnet.

 

 

 

 

Japanese is syllabic while American/English is time-stressed so haiku

writers in American/English have evolved a short long short rather than

the 5 7 5 which is based on the syllabic Japanese language. Some even

use a free form dispensing with the short long short lines but keep the

overall syllables to 17 and below but not exceeding 17.

 

 

 

But it is in the spirit of the haiku that most try to adhere to so that we don't end up with a 3 line poem but a haiku, just as you've argued about the sonnet. And yes ther's some debate about the centrality of the kigo. But for what it's worth I think without a kigo a haiku loses something of its essence. I don't think we need the typical cherry blossoms, dew and other details but some allusion to the season is important to differentiate haiku for instance from its cousin, the senryu. Herein in the effective use of the kigo is the challenge for contemporary haiku writers.

 

Another aspect of the haiku which is essential is the wabi-sabi element - that sense of melancholy and beauty in a moment of solitude a beauty revealed in all its simplicity and bareness. Keene describes it as 'an understatement hinting at greater depths'.

 

Towards the end of his life Basho strove to simplify his haiku even more by trying to remove the use of verbs, which he came to see as giving the haiku an emotional baggage. He tried to achieve this by using the ideal of karumi or lightness of touch by using fewer verbs or none.

 

 

The essence of the haiku and its principal difference from other forms is when it is absolved of the writer - the writer disappears and the poem resonates with a universality across all boundaries. This ego-less state, I believe is something that is hardest to achieve and yet that element which gives haiku its fundamental beauty and appeal.

 

 

Wonderful to have this exchange and of course needless to say this is just my experience of the haiku.

 

 

 

goldenlangur

 

gl Fantastic. Your knowhow is deeper in some aspects than mine. Only one demurral: Japanese is not syllabic in the sense English and most Western tongues are because they deal with onji or sound-signs, but we may as well see them as syllables for we cannot handle their language the way they do. As far as I can glean from all I have read is that the written sign may represent more (or less?) than what we might call a syllable.

 

I am glad you have taken up the cudgel for wabi-sabi and karumi. We should further see if honoring the cut-words (kireji) could do us some good. It is my understanding that they serve in part as punctuation and in part as 'flexants' words that indicate case as endings do in inflected languages.

 

I am overwhelmed and wait for more.

 

And you Tinker do not have to be ashamed for what you have said. You have done well and updating as more info is gleaned is no biggie. I do that continuously and two, three, four heads are better than one.

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waxwings

goldenlangur wrote:

 

Japanese is syllabic while American/English is time-stressed so haiku

writers in American/English have evolved a short long short rather than

the 5 7 5 which is based on the syllabic Japanese language. Some even

use a free form dispensing with the short long short lines but keep the

overall syllables to 17 and below but not exceeding 17.

 

 

goldenlangur

 

Puzzled by your use of time-stressed (esp. the notion that verse is timed, but cf. Greek, below) as somehow totally incomparable with syllabic. Consider my following thoughts.

 

The common distinction between, say, English, Welsh and French verse is that they are, respectively, accentual-syllabic, accentual and syllabic. But much of English verse is of the syllabic variety (cinquain, Etheree, Fibbonacci and other forms) and some has been written as accentual.

 

Just like the language, Greek verse is quantitative: the prosodic patterns consist of "feet", the representative foot of a kind containing from one to four syllables, and the difference between types of feet due to nigh all possible patterns of either of short only, long only or a mixture of short and long syllables.

 

In comparison, English verse uses likewise named feet except that, like in the language, the syllables used are either unstressed or stressed.

 

Welsh verse did not identify feet but defined a line of verse by the number of stressed syllables only with a disregard for the number of the unstressed ones.

 

French is said to be an unstressed language, at least in the sense that many other languages recognize stress as English does. This would imply French to be a flat, unemotional language, a contention I cannot accept.

 

Japanese verse may be syllabic, since the number-per-line of their particular speech elements is the restrictive part of their prosody. That is no guarantee that, though it is unrhymed, it is totally without some element of distinction we Westerners cannot comprehend.

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goldenlangur

Hello again icon_smile.gif

 

Not sure if the bits and pieces about haiku I picked up really amounts to knowledge icon_redface.gif I feel I have much to learn and need to return to the haiku Masters again and again to sustain something of the spirit of this wonderful form.

 

 

Japanese is not syllabic in the sense English and most Western tongues are because they deal with
onji
or sound-signs,

 

The onji - sound units are definitely an aspect of Japanese from what I've read and been told. Perhaps my clumsy way of explaining about syllables, Japanese and its differences from English can be refined by the use of Stephen Fry's illustration of English being stress-timed:

 

Each English word is given its own weight and push as we speak it within a sentence.

 

 

In contrast I understand from Japanese speakers that their language has equal -stressed syllables which make up the sound units.

 

The kireji - cutting word - represents a thought-pause and is emphatic. and as you observe, a punctuation marker. It not only links the initial scene with the images that follow and juxtapose it but also marks a turn. It is the kireji that gives haiku its phrase and fragment character and underlines that the haiku is not a single, descriptive sentence. Again, quite a challenge to use effectively but still a vital aspect of this form.

 

The common kireji markers are :

 

-

!

...

 

:

 

also a sigh ah!

 

Again, just my take-on of the haiku form.

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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waxwings

gl,

 

Anything but nil is knowledge, and that you have that I have not is useful knowledge/insight to boot for me. Your recount of what the kireji can do sounds like original thinking in extension of what you have learned. It certainly does add to what I know about them.

 

I am interested in anything that touches on poetry/prosody but had not run into that stress-timed notion. What really throws me is the "timed" part. Can you clarify this or direct me to a record of Stephen Fry'es thinking or that of others who use that term.

 

His example shows that (assuming his notion of which syllables are stressed is OK to all English speakers) stressed syllables are irregularly distributed, i.e., number of unstressed between any two stressed is not same. Therefore the idea of "timing" seems inept. It is not iambic nor is there a dominant 'metric' foot and no sign of a tri- tetra- or pentameter. At best, it is not accentual-syllabic but accentual verse.

 

The Japanese hear onji but my understanding is we would not hear/recognizeare them as syllables. It does not really matter, because syllables will do for us as the onji do for the Japanese. I firmly believe we can learn how to write short poems equivalent to but not just good poems that are not so equivalent.

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goldenlangur

Hi waxwings,

 

Not sure I can help you with an exegesis of how English works as it is a second language for me. Besides, Fry's book is for dummies like myself who are wary of prosody and his avuncular humour and tone try to exorcise the demons for such beginners and help us grasp the basics. So perhaps you need to look further afield to more scholarly works on prosody.

 

Time-stressed is accentual?:

 

waxwings wrote:

 

I am interested in anything that touches on poetry/prosody but had not run into that
stress-timed
notion. What really throws me is the
"timed"
part. Can you clarify this or direct me to a record of Stephen Fry'es thinking or that of others who use that term.

 

His example shows that (assuming his notion of which syllables are stressed is OK to all English speakers) stressed syllables are irregularly distributed, i.e., number of unstressed between any two stressed is not same. Therefore the idea of "timing" seems inept. It is not iambic nor is there a dominant 'metric' foot and no sign of a tri- tetra- or pentameter. At best, it is not accentual-syllabic but accentual verse.

 

 

 

 

It does not really matter, because syllables will do for us as the onji

do for the Japanese. I firmly believe we can learn how to write short

poems equivalent to but not just good poems that are not so equivalent.

 

 

Indeed the whole 3-lines thing has been an adaptation of the Japanese onji because haiku in Japanese is supposed to be read in a single breath and the earliest translations of the hokku (the precedent of the haiku) and the waka are one-liners or single passages.

 

I agree that the spirit and aesthetical roots of the haiku (Shinto and Zen) are more crucial than a physical replication of the Japanese language while writing haiku in English.

 

 

 

This has been a most stimulating and enjoyable discussion. icon_smile.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur


goldenlangur

 

 

Even a single enemy is too many and a thousand friends too few - Bhutanese saying.

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rumisong

 

spiky brown oak leaves

wet pavement after the rains

my autumn placemat

 

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