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HAIKU CHALLENGE


goldenlangur
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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

How wonderful to use a haiku eye to bring us scenes of winter in your part of the world icon_smile.gif We do indeed learn from each other.

 

The charity bell is quite unexpected and makes the reader sit up and take note.

 

I like how you use the image dune to evoke the action of the wind in the winter landscape hinting at the way the wind whips sand in the desert.

 

Just a suggestion - in your revision of the previous haiku you've deleted the original versions - I think it would be great if you would post these too and give the reader a sense of how your haiku evolve. There may be details in your original which will touch another reader and inspire another exchange of ideas.

 

 

Enjoyed your winter haiku.

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Aleksandra

Lake dear, of course we can go on with winter haiku as much as we wish icon_wink.gif. Still is winter, and for me winter works so well as inspiration, especially winter with snow icon_smile.gif

I enjoyed your two haiku poems. Both are wonderful, but ok for the first one is better. I love that one.

And I agree with goldenlangur. It would be nice to keep the original version, revision too, so we can read and compare, how the poem grows, and sure ideas are always nice like suggestions also. Anyway this is challenge icon_smile.gif

 

Well done, and keep it come.

 

Aleksandra 390236.gif

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Hi Golden and Alek,

 

Suggestions taken. It's a good idea to keep the original so people can read and compare. Let me see if I can still remember the original one. So keeping the original also applies to works in other columns?

 

Very happy new year!

 

Lake

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I wrote a few haiku last month- thought perhaps I would share them here? if this is the right way/place?

 

they are irreverent to that part of haiku which looks to capture nature- they look to do the opposite of that really, I tried to capture the nature of the human brain in these... and so if there is any subtle turn in them, it attempts it there... also, I was looking to be strict in the 5-7-5 rule with them- although Im glad to see we are more interested here in the subtly than the rule! icon_smile.gif

 

Ill look to find some new ones in the next days...

 

 

 

 

all wisdom falls down

into its own cleverness

haiku from here on

 

 

________

 

 

 

five, seven and five

wild imaginings at bay

I bless the constraint!

 

 

________

 

 

 

about this word "wild"

does it slip off of your tongue?

leave it for the grave!

 

 

________

 

 

how do you do that!?

"I refuse to hide my joy!"

passion of the muse

 

 

________

 

 

 

a spate of haiku

from the midst of such doings

untethered repose

 

 

________

 

 

 

that internet joke...?

"YOUVE ARRIVED AT THE LAST PAGE!"

...

I have no more words!

 

 

_________

 

 

 

the Monks mandala

the cat hears his dinner tin

we will start again...

 

 

________

 

 

 

those are SPLASHY ones!

little boy's haiku, in MUD!

words tracked on carpet

 

 

oh, heres one that does speak of nature... it was written on Nov 4th, remember that Tuesday?

 

 

 

~a flicker arrives

prefers suet to millet

his election day~

 

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goldenlangur

Hello rumisong,

 

Lovely to meet you icon_smile.gif You're defintely in the right place here with your brilliant senryu, the cousin of the haiku, which as you say, tries to capture the human nature. It's admirable that you've used the 5-7-5 rule, always a challenge and so gratifying when the haiku/senryu work the better for it. But yes, you're right, the short-long-short is okay as well as well as having the fragment and phrase aspects without the 5-7-5 syllables.

 

 

Love the way the first senryu suggests vanity and tribulations of artistic endeavor. The wit in the second senryu and sixth is superb and I also like the dark undertone of the third one. I'm a little unsure what the allusions in the fourth and fifth are. In the seventh senryu, I wondered if the juxtaposition of the mandala and the cat's dinner tin implied an interruption of meditation? The playfulness of the eight one is great and the final one does indeed refer to a shift, political and seasonal.

 

 

 

Thoroughly enjoyed these senryu and look forward to more. icon_smile.gif

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

So glad that you've posted the original. It certainly works together with your revision and gives us some idea how to workshop and change and improve.

 

Thank you icon_smile.gif

 

A very Happy New Year to you too icon_biggrin.pngicon_biggrin.png I suppose you celebrate both - the one in January and then the Chinese New Year icon_smile.gif It's brilliant when one can do that!

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur wrote:

 

Hello rumisong, Lovely to meet you
icon_smile.gif

 

Thank you for the welcome gl!

 

senryu, the cousin of the haiku, which as you say, tries to capture the human nature.

 

AH! Thats great! Im so very glad to have this new information... looked it up on Wikipedia just now- yes- this is so, good to know!

 

Thank you SO much for your comments!

 

I also like the dark undertone of the third one.

 

much of my writing, and so indeed my poems, will be about "Dying to self" - surrender of the ego, to find the true nature of our selves... the glory and beauty behind even the darkest of human experience... so, they are not so much "dark" as meant to point to the ending of grasping, in the Buddhist sense I suppose... although, many mystics from all over were about this-

 

In the seventh senryu, I wondered if the juxtaposition of the
mandala
and the
cat's dinner
tin
implied an interruption of meditation?

 

for Tibetan Buddhists, the mandala is made of sand- intricate sand "paintings" that they will spend weeks creating- and as SOON as they are finished making them, they sweep it all together into a pile of mono-colored sand - to illustrate the fleeting and temporary nature of life... here, the cat told them when the mandala was finished icon_wink.gif in his rush to dinner, caring less than the monks, how temporary life is icon_biggrin.png (hoping here for an image of the monastery cat running beeline across the floor to the kitchen, not thinking much of "going around" the mandala in the center of the floor)

 

Thoroughly enjoyed these senryu and look forward to more.
icon_smile.gif

 

thank you again, so much- Im having fun here already!

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goldenlangur

Hello rumisong,

 

Thank you for returning with some additional details on your seventh senryu. This motif is indeed a noble and also a truly challenging one:

surrender of the ego, to find the true nature of our selves... the

glory and beauty behind even the darkest of human experience... so,

they are not so much "dark" as meant to point to the ending of

grasping, in the Buddhist sense I suppose...

 

I've enjoyed your thoughts about the mandala symbolizing the Buddha wisdom that human existence is transitory. The cat being unmindful of this fundamental principle comes into its own.

 

 

Thank you very much.

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur wrote:I've enjoyed your thoughts about the mandala symbolizing the Buddha wisdom that human existence is transitory. The cat being unmindful of this fundamental principle comes into its own.

 

Yes, well, knowing now that you are from that very part of the world, I can feel quite foolish for having "explained" what I meant to you icon_silent.png - but then, you asked me:

I wondered if the juxtaposition of the mandala and the cat's dinner tin implied an interruption of meditation?

and so now Im curious to what YOU saw there otherwise? Maybe the mandalas are not made on the floors? - maybe they are never made in the vicinity of cats? icon_wink.gif - maybe there are no cats in monasteries? or the cats food does not come in tins, in that part of the world... hmmm...

 

I think you have secret information about this that you must now share with us! icon_razz.gif do tell, please icon_biggrin.png

 

(we only just "met" and Im teasing you already... all in fun- I know you know)

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rumisong,

 

Welcome on board! Enjoyed your senryu as Golden noted as I felt. Even the last one is a senryu in my view. Golden had a great review on it, all I can add is that I particularly enjoyed your use of a poetic device of internal rhyme in the last one - the "e" sound in "suet", "millet" and "election".

 

I started Haiku in the strict 5/7/5 form as well, and I also added a title to each. icon_biggrin.png Here are my two early haiku:

 

Sounds of Nature

 

Mountains float afar

Egrets hover, mirror pond

Ocarina sings

 

Whisper of Spring

 

Who kicks off soft snow

Drips, drops, sound of icicles

Naked green giggles

 

They don't sound haiku, do they? Golden's works, to me, are very haiku, even in his non-haiku poems and proses, you can feel haiku there.

 

Enjoy your stay here

 

Lake

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Thank you for your welcome Lake icon_smile.gif

 

Lake wrote:

 

I started Haiku in the strict 5/7/5 form as well, and I also added a title to each.

 

ah, its just so easy for me to break rules- that in this case (writing this set last month, before I met you all) the rule was what I was interested in, as that one line said "I bless the constraint" - I can look forward to when the rule breaks again for me- but for now, this is where my mind is drawn- may last only another day, or longer- I never get to know icon_smile.gif

 

I am very glad to quit calling them haiku though- it was a natural thing for me to go into "satire" with them... so to see that this turn of form was already set out, is a fine discovery for me icon_smile.gif

 

cheers

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

I'm delighted that you posted your work here as examples of your early haiku. The use of the 5-7-5 rule is a great disciplining tool and certainly helps to focus the images. As English is time stressed rather than syllabic, getting the rule right in English is quite challenging but not impossible, as many of us find icon_smile.gif

 

You know so well by now and tolerate very generously, my constant nit-picking. The only not so haiku part of your two beautiful poems is the way the aha moment for the reader is already spelled out:

 

naked green giggles

 

This is such a sublime evocation and most delightfully playful but the reader should arrive at it through the images in the haiku.

 

As always I offer my thoughts and interpretation in a spirit of exchange, mindful and respecting your freedom to ignore them.

 

 

I'm very moved by your praise of my haiku efforts and feel much encouraged by such generous support.

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

Hello rumisong,

 

How you tease this hapless peasant from the Himalayas!

 

Please don't feel 'foolish' about explaining your experience of the mandala practice. Our little kingdom is the sole remaining independent Tibetan Buddhist country, but it is wonderful that in the US this philosophy and practice has found a home. Therefore, you as a Buddhist in the US have much to share and tell us about as any Buddhist in this part of the globe.

 

Thoroughly enjoyed your description of the cat ignoring the sacred space of the mandala and thereby showing how transient it all is. The thing which did occur to me is that as the cat would be in a karmic rebirth of a kind and therefore lack the higher consciousness of a human, which makes Dharma possible.

 

 

Thank you very much for coming back with your thoughts and rest assured I do not believe that our part of the world is in any way privileged than other Buddhist communities. So delighted to hear of your experiences and thoughts.

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Hi Golden,

 

You are spot on my lack of haiku spirit in these two. See how hard I was struggling with that 5/7/5, especially when I wanted to fit it in two different languages. Even now, I still have hard time creating that "surprise" in the third line.

 

Many thanks for your sincere words.

 

Lake

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

I'm very grateful that you're so graceful about my critical reading of your haiku. I do share this:

 

 

Lake wrote:

 

Even now, I still have hard time creating that "surprise" in the third line.

 

 

Lake

 

 

You're a wonderful presence here and I enjoy our haiku and tanka discussions very much icon_smile.gif

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

morning sun

mists rise from my

frozen mobile

 

 

 

Using short-long-short rather than the classic 5-7-5.

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Aleksandra
also, I was looking to be strict in the 5-7-5 rule with them- although Im glad to see we are more interested here in the subtly than the rule! icon_smile.gif

 

 

 

 

 

 

all wisdom falls down

into its own cleverness

haiku from here on

 

 

________

 

 

 

five, seven and five

wild imaginings at bay

I bless the constraint!

 

 

________

 

 

 

about this word "wild"

does it slip off of your tongue?

leave it for the grave!

 

 

________

 

 

how do you do that!?

"I refuse to hide my joy!"

passion of the muse

 

 

________

 

 

 

a spate of haiku

from the midst of such doings

untethered repose

 

 

________

 

 

 

that internet joke...?

"YOUVE ARRIVED AT THE LAST PAGE!"

...

I have no more words!

 

 

_________

 

 

 

the Monks mandala

the cat hears his dinner tin

we will start again...

 

 

________

 

 

 

those are SPLASHY ones!

little boy's haiku, in MUD!

words tracked on carpet

 

 

 

 

 

 

~a flicker arrives

prefers suet to millet

his election day~

 

 

Hello Rumisong. Glad to read yours haiku. All of them have their beauty and origin. For me also, haiku without the rule is more provocative icon_smile.gif ( it's easier icon_biggrin.png ).

 

Thank you for sharing this with us.

 

Aleksandra

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra

Lake wrote:

 

I started Haiku in the strict 5/7/5 form as well, and I also added a title to each.
icon_biggrin.png
Here are my two early haiku:

 

Sounds of Nature

 

Mountains float afar

Egrets hover, mirror pond

Ocarina sings

 

Whisper of Spring

 

Who kicks off soft snow

Drips, drops, sound of icicles

Naked green giggles

 

They don't sound haiku, do they? Golden's works, to me, are very haiku, even in his non-haiku poems and proses, you can feel haiku there.

 

Lake

 

Ah Lake, they sound haiku to me. And I like how you made the titles for them. For me that is a big deal icon_eek.gif . Always I am having problems with the titles, and for haiku - more problematic job. So in your case, I love it. I especially like the " Sounds of Nature "

 

Aleksandra

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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Aleksandra

goldenlangur wrote:

 

 

 

Using short-long-short rather than the classic 5-7-5.

 

goldenlangur

 

I love that way GL icon_smile.gif.

 

goldenlangur wrote:

 

morning sun

mists rise from my

frozen mobile

 

Interesting one. The way how it starts then ending part - very different, with different sound and way from what gives the beginning.

 

Alek

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

History of Macedonia

 

 

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goldenlangur

Thank you so much Aleksandra for your comments on this haiku.

 

Nothing like a silent and defunct mobile after being left out in freezing temperatures! icon_smile.gif I'm sure this does not happen to many, though icon_wink.gif

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

dusk

waxing crescent is brighter

under bare trees

 

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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goldenlangur

January dusk

in the center of the oak

red sun

 

 

 

Or:

 

 

red sun

in the center of the oak

January dusk

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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Hi Golden,

 

I've read this two versions a couple of times, trying to see the difference between them. I must admit it is really hard to tell which one is better than the other. All I can see is which one you want to put emphasis on: January dusk or red sun. The line "in the center of the oak" is very unique, I think.

 

Not much help here, but if I have to choose I'll take verse one.

 

Thanks for the thinking.

 

Lake

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our last summer

fades into fluffy snow -

butterflies in dreams

 

cold dawn

candle’s blown off -

unfinished lines…

 

moonless night

gently, a lone tarn rocks

a tired boat

 

a robin sings

with a coarse voice

delight in despair

 

foggy morning

how beautiful

blooming camellia!

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goldenlangur

Hi Lake,

 

Thank you for giving this some thought. You've put your finger on which image should be the pivot here.

 

I'm strung between both icon_question.gif In the original I had :

 

red sun

in the center of the bare oak

dusk

 

 

I wondered if January could replace bare?

 

 

 

I appreciate the trouble you've taken with this.

 

 

Thank you.

 

 

goldenlangur

goldenlangur

 

 

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

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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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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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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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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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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 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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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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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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