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Learn the Basic Steps to Write a Haiku


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Japanese version of Haiku has totally 17 sounds (five in the first part, seven in the second and five in the last part). They count the sounds not syllables and they write Haiku in single vertical line, but in English we use to write in three horizontal lines. Haiku should use objective sensory images, and avoid subjective commentary.

Steps to be considered to write Haiku:

  • Understand the way Haiku is made - In English, the ideas can be expressed with a short line, a long line, and another short stack. Sometimes, haiku can turn out very bad and cheesy.
  • Choose a season - Many haiku seem to focus on nature, but what they are really focusing on is a seasonal reference. Japanese poets use a season word almanac to check the seasonal association for key words that they might use in a haiku. The season is important for coming up with words to use in a haiku.
  • Add a contrast or comparison - While reading most haiku, you'll notice they either present one idea for the first two lines and then switch quickly to something else or do the same with the first line and last two. A Japanese haiku achieves this shift with what is called a "kireji" or cutting word, which cuts the poem into two parts. In English, it is essential for nearly every haiku to have this two-part combined structure.
  • Use primarily objective sensory description - Haiku are based on the five senses. They are about things you can experience, not your interpretation or analysis of those things.
  • Like any other art, haiku takes practice – Basho (a Japanese poet who lived in the period of 17th century) said that each haiku should be a thousand times on the tongue. It is also important to read good haiku and not just translations from the Japanese but the best literary haiku being written in English.
For more information on writing Haiku please visit here

Haiku of the Day:
Glorious the moon
therefore our thanks, dark clouds
come to rest our necks.

History of Haiku


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras. Haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and moras are not the same. Haiku typically contain a seasonal reference and a cutting word. In Japanese, haiku are normally written in a single vertical line and tend to take the aspects of world as their subject, while haiku in English often appear in three lines to equivalent to the three phrases of Japanese haiku and may deal with any subject. The word "Haiku" was previously called as hokku and its current name was given by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.

Hokku is the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or renga, and of its later derivative, renku. By the time of Matsuo Basho (1644–1694), the hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem. In the late 19th century, Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) renamed the standalone hokku to haiku.

Today, haiku are written in many languages, but most poets outside of Japan are concentrated in the English-speaking countries and in the Balkans. It is impossible to single out any current style or format or subject matter as definitive. Some of the more common practices in English are:

  • Use of three (or fewer) lines of 17 or fewer syllables;
  • Use of a season word;
  • Use of a cut (sometimes indicated by a punctuation mark) to contrast and compare, implicitly, two events, images, or situations.

The following famous haiku has been written by one of the great masters.

A sign of blessing
The snow on the quilt
From the Pure Land

This haiku demonstrates how simple true belief can be.

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