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: 205

Replies to This Discussion

"i love you," you sigh...
robins bob among tulips
my heart soars above
Roses in full bloom
Midsummer is upon us-
My heart blossoms, too.
Heat rises from streets
Thunder cracks, the sky opens-
Rain descends like tide.
a storm approaches
it quickly dampens spirits
then moves on eastward
thanks, a lot. how come all the storms have to come eastward - to HERE?! ;-p

bright, hot afternoons
sweltering; then storm descends
cools the evening air
lightning strikes a birch
the pungent smell of ozone...
small mammals scatter
his hands in his lap
he closes his sea green eyes...
the cicadas sing
before the summer...
the shuffling of thoughtful feet
the ring of laughter
hearts ever green in
the eternal spring of love...
lilacs scent the breeze
your surprising love
white rose on a grey bedspread
you smell of summer
red birds on white snow...
the business of feathered things
goes on unnoticed
days are longer now
the lazy days of summer
birds sing; crickets chirp




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