TBD on Ning

I figured after I've been bastardizing the form for so long, I should put up a discussion for classic haiku. :>)


We all know the requirement that the poems be three lines with 5, 7, and 5 syllables (the anglicized version of the Japanese "on," or sound units). Here are a couple more requirements of classic haiku (taken from the links that are posted on the group main page):


  • Haiku typically contain a kigo, a defined word or phrase that symbolizes or implies the season of the poem. Kigo are often in the form of metonyms, or words that imply a season (for instance, to the Japanese, the frog would imply Spring when frogs emerge in rice paddies). There are regional equivalents in America...for instance, the cherry blossoms emerging in Washington, DC, are recognized as a Springtime phenomenon, or snow in the north indicating winter...but Western poets often simply use the season names.  
  • Haiku also typically contain a kireji, or "cutting word," often placed at the end of a line, which is intended to briefly cut the train of thought to prompt the reader to reflect on the relationships within the poem.  In classical Japanese haiku there are 18 kireji...actual sound units for which there are no equivalents in English. So Western poets often use ellipses or hyphens to indicate such a break. Here's an example of one kireji, "ya" being used mid-verse, and how it plays out in English: 

          yuku|haru|ya| tori|naki|uo|no| me|wa|namida

go|spring|—| bird|crying|fish|'s| eye|as-for|tear


          spring going—
          birds crying and tears
          in the eyes of fish


Okay, it looks daunting, but it's not really.  


Tags: that's what I'm talking about, the real thing, traditional haiku

Views: 207

Replies to This Discussion

Gorgeous! That tugs at my heart so, LS. You sound very much like my beloved Draughn. And tomatoes were his jam! Haha!

Thinking of him:

strong hands hold gently
tender rootball seeking earth--
summer sun beaming

Skies are blue, air sweet

Easy to let yourself sleep 

Up north Fires raging

(I live in California where we are having the worst wildfires on record)

I've been following news of the fires on NPR. (I lived in CA as a child and love it.) I'm assuming you're okay in Sunnyvale--is that so?

trees burst into flame
feeding the conflagration--
snow falls on shasta

We're fine in Sunnyvale but the sunsets are unreal, like on a different planet

On time sunset comes

Ominous and disturbing

Sky with strange colors

hot embers threaten

lives disrupted for the now

new growth springs later

cool summer morning
miles roll by beneath his feet
sanity reclaimed 




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