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Poetry Magnum Opus

silk worm

Terry L shuff

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                                                                   bench in yard

                                                       small green worm decends

                                                             silk thread gleams


3/5/3       new form Joel mentioned to me

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Thanks Tink, Joel told me about the 3/5/3 form. I think this may best form yet for translating  Basho's original. i'am not sure I understand Joels overlapping term. some websites say Haiku should have a juxtaposition for the 3rd line.    To me that means contrast, Joels seems like a continuation of the action. rather then a result, of line 2.  some of Basho's translators use ing  quite frequently.      Iwould like to understand which is right.        sincerelyi would  

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Terry, haiku can be written in 1 line, 2 lines or 3 lines as long as the total syllable count is 17 syllables or less. (I've even seen 4 lines)  O course the most common Western haiku is 5/7/5.  But it isn't the line count that is important.  It is the image of the moment and the human condition the image brings to mind. It is hard to emulate Basho unless you speak and write Japanese. His haiku differ with the translator.

The form does require 3 units or parts but the units do not necessarily have to be separated by line.

  1. concrete image in the moment
  2. expand image or parallel the image.
  3. juxtaposed image revealing human condition, the Ah ha moment.

    birth and death                                                            
    of a moment

    Here are some really nice examples all found published in Carving Darkness, The Red Moon Anthology of English Language Haiku

    a favorite of mine by one of our inactive members Lucy Lu

    prom day~~
    on my daughter's waist 
    a boy's hand

    or  Bouwe Brouwer of the Netherlands 

    winter night
    the snow slowly takes over 
    the conversation

    or Carmi Soifer  USA

    the shell's story inside the inside

    or Helga Stanla of Switzerland

    boundary stones 
    on the old battlefield
    melting snow                                   (gerund used and it is totally appropriate, 17 syllables aren't even used)

Modern or contemporary Western haiku seem to test the boundaries but as long as you keep the 3 images in mind and stay on or under the total syllable count you've got haiku.


~~ © ~~ Poems by Judi Van Gorder ~~

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

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Thanks Tink,    i'am getting a better understanding of Haiku.     I'll read the book.   My Ah ha   moments many times  are different ,than others.     many people have said to me" what made you think of that" ?     i'am very seldom on the same wave lingth with others.    I'ts  no big deal tho.     Thanks again Tink .

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David W. Parsley

Thanks for the perspective, Terry.  Poetry is the medium for tuning wavelengths!

- Dave

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Thank you Dave, i appreciate your comment, about tuning  wavelengths

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  • 4 weeks later...
Frank Coffman

Nicely done. You have the "cut" between lines 1 and 2 (it can be between 2 and 3, of course). Nice "zoom lens" effect from the wide shot of the bench to the minutia of silkworm and filament.

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