Haiku. A descriptive form of poetry originating from Japan and previously known as hokku. I believe that anyone who has ever been in school may already have an idea of what haiku is. If not,
“Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. Haiku began in thirteenth-century Japan as the opening phrase of renga, an oral poem, generally 100 stanzas long, which was also composed syllabically. The much shorter haiku broke away from renga in the sixteenth-century,…” (Haiku: Poetic Form)
Initially, one would think that haiku isn’t so hard, after all, it’s just short, right? Not really. For one, there are meters to consider. To come up with just a decent poem, one would need to be well aware of the rules of writing it: the allowed length (traditionally with three lines) and the number of syllables required (traditionally 17) . Because haiku is short, you would need great inspiration and a certain amount of skill to create powerful haiku verses. Simplicity is beauty, and not everyone has such skills to do it properly.
Matsuo Basho mastered the art in the 17th century and wrote this classic piece:
It is said that there are no real specific rules in haiku, especially nowadays. However, the structure remains the same. I share these points from YourDictionary.com in verbatim:
- Only three lines, totaling 17 syllables throughout
- The first line is only 5 syllables
- The second line is 7 syllables
- The third line is 5 syllables like the first
- Punctuation and capitalization rules are up to the poet, and need not follow rigid rules used in structuring sentences
- Haiku does not have to rhyme, in fact many times it does not rhyme at all
- Some haiku can include the repetition of words or sounds
According to poet Ezra Pound, who promoted the modernist aesthetic in poetry, “The image itself is speech. The image is the word beyond formulated language.” See here:
The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.
For more samples, I have found these for you, haiku poets (some of whom I’m, at least, Facebook buddies with) and their masterpieces, in alphabetical order:
texturing the canvas
of a dream
The sea darkens;
the voices of the wild ducks
are faintly white.
dead widow’s bamboo bell
each chime numbs
Rolls a cigarette of air
The low yellow
moon above the
Quiet lamplit house.
we make things happen
we mirror lights and light stars
in stellar lagoons
(from the ‘We’ Haikus, Ute Margaret Saine)
In the coolness
of the empty sixth-month sky…
the cuckoo’s cry.
a frog leaps from
one leaf to another
watching her dance
shoreline as if
the stars exist
HAPPY POETRY MONTH!!!
I have not been feeling well for days, frankly. Forgive me if I seem slacking on the letters, I promise I’m not. Do please keep visiting 🙂
This piece serves as my Letter H post for the A to Z Challenge 2017.
If you’re interested:
A for Alibata – How to Spell the Ancient Filipino Way
B for Block – “How do you personally deal with writer’s block?”
C for Contents – Contents with all the Feels
D for Dialogue – Why Dialogue is Important
E for Edit – Mark Your Words!
F for Fictional Characters – “Which fictional character that you created is your favorite, and why?”
G for Grammar – GRRR-rammar!!!