What is a “Haiku”?
Haiku (俳句 haikai verse ) listen (help·info) (no separate plural form) is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:
- The essence of haiku is “bolding” (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji (“cutting word”) between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
- Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.
- A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.
Modern Japanese haiku (現代俳句 gendai-haiku ) are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 on or to take nature as their subject, but the use of juxtaposition continues to be honored in both traditional and modern haiku. There is a common, although relatively recent, perception that the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences.
In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku.
Previously called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.
(Thank you, Wikipedia)
It seems, nowadays, the tradition isn’t practiced with Haiku’s anymore. I personally do keep the 17 syllables but not always within the three phrases of 5-7-5.
I have, however tried to combine the traditional Haiku including it’s three phrases, within 2 Haiku’s that had cost me hours to write.
Mommy calls my name
I run ’cause I know the game
tell – where is my bone?
Mommy is a sheep
She never gives me nice sleep
Not the home for me!
(Raani York, Copyright 2014)
And yes, I laughed too… There are excellent Haiku poets around and I therefore decided to give up on this form of poetry. Even though I like reading and hearing it, I figure it isn’t really made for me to try and revolutionize World’s Haiku community with poetry about dogs and cats… (And I’m sure, knowing me, I’d find a few rhymes about horses, racoons and possum’s. *grin*)
Haikus are very different of Western poetry, and sometimes harder to understand. At least that’s what it seems to me. But different does not at all mean “bad”, “worse” or “difficult”… it just means, incomparibly different. That’s all.
Of course it is incomparable to the western poetry which I personally like the VERY most, when there are rhythmic verses which rhyme (preferrably at the end)…
It usually doesn’t take me that long to write a poem – but it takes me plenty of time to complete it the way I want it. For example do I hate it when the rhythm is weird. Shakespeare for example does have excellent rhymes and rhythms within his poems, even though I do find him a little morbid once in a while.
Let’s take one of Shakespeare’s excellent poems and compare it to really bad poetry. And since it’s fall, the subject “autumn” is a quite good choice I think.
That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest.
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the deathbed whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourished by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well which thou must leave ere long.
(Sonnet 73, by William Shakespeare (1609)
The leaves fall down, the leaves fall down,
their color is some red and brown.
The year slows down to lower gear,
and now I know that fall is here.
(In consideration of the reputation of this Author, my name will kept secret… whoops! – Copyright 2014)
But of course there is another poem I find absolutely hilarious. It was presented in the movie “10 things I hate about you”, written by “Katharina Stratfort”:
I hate the way you talk to me,
and the way you cut your hair.
I hate the way you drive my car,
I hate it when you stare.
I hate your big dumb combat boots
and the way you read my mind.
I hate you so much it makes me sick,
it even makes me rhyme.
I hate the way you’re always right,
I hate it when you lie.
I hate it when you make me laugh,
even worse when you make me cry.
I hate it when you’re not around,
and the fact you didn’t call.
But mostly I hate the way I don’t hate you,
not even close…
not even a little bit…
not even at all.
Do you have your very own opinion about good and bad poetry? About Haiku’s? What it is that attracts you about poetry? Let me hear your thoughts, please I’m curious!
Pictures to find at:
Puppy and kitty: http://jessesays.com/fitness-guilt-trip/puppy-and-kitten/
Film scene 10 things I hate about you: http://filmeye.wordpress.com/
Fall picture with bench: http://futuku.info/beautiful-autumn-forests-nature-background-wallpapers-on/beautiful-fall-pictures-of-naturebeautiful-autumn-forests-nature-background-wallpapers-on-zgiwki/