Saturday, April 15, 2017

Teachable Moment: Do You Haiku?

Haiku Traffic Signs Bring Poetry To NYC Streets

The following haiku are translated from an original language and may not scan a perfect 5-7-5.

a world of dew,
and within every dewdrop
a world of struggle

Issa 1762 - 1826

Over-ripe sushi,
The Master
Is full of regret. 

Masaoka Shiki 

Night; and once again,
the while I wait for you, cold wind
turns into rain.


These from Matsu Basho
1644 –1694

the sea darkens —
the voices of the wild ducks
are faintly white

Wet with morning dew 
and splotched with mud, the melon 
looks especially cool  

The old pond:
a frog jumps in,-
the sound of water.

Here is some advice from Russ Galeson:
Why not try your hand at haiku? Here are some guidelines:

  • Haiku poems consist of 5, 7, 5 syllables in three lines.
  • The cutting divides the haiku in two parts with a certain imaginative distance between the two sections. Line one and two should be different images. Line three brings the two images together.
  • A haiku often contains a kigo , a season word which indicates in which season the haiku is set. For example cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow winter etc. The season word isn’t always that obvious.
  • Try to write a haiku only about what actually happens to you.
  • Write when you have been deeply moved.
  • Keep it honest, simple, clear and modest.
  • Try not to explain, it should need no explanation.
  • Try not to express feelings in words, let the concrete action speak for itself.

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