Expressing Emotions. What do you do to express . . . Happiness? Sadness? Anger?. Haiku. 5-7-5. Haikus are easy, But sometimes they don't make sense. Refrigerator . Write a silly haiku . . . Just get it out of your system . Terminology .
What do you do to express . . .
Haikus are easy, But sometimes they don't make sense. Refrigerator.
Write a silly haiku . . . Just get it out of your system
For most human beings, it's hard to say the right thing at the right time. When the pressure is on, it's common to either stumble around and say too much, or hold back and say nothing at all.
Luckily, there's help, from an art form that got its start in medieval Japan and has spread around the world. Haiku poets, who write three-line poems which traditionally total only seventeen syllables, have perfected the art of expressing emotions, relations, and fleeting impressions in only a few words. When written well, those few words can bring us to a deep appreciation of the moment and of the diverse conditions that brought it forth.
Haikai consisted of a beginning triplet called a hokku. The hokku was considered the most important part of the poem. It had two principal requirements: a seasonal word (kireji) and a "cutting word" or exclamation.
In Japan, a haiku poem is usually divided into three groups/lines of syllables, the first and last with five syllables, the second with seven.
However, be careful not to get blocked by strict adherence to the number of syllables and miss the essence of haiku. The 17 syllables is not an absolute rule. Most Japanese syllables are short, as in po-ta-to. English syllables can be long, and take up too much space in a haiku, so English haiku frequently have fewer than 17 syllables, sometimes as few as ten.
1. Haiku presents simple imagery, devoid of similes, metaphors, and eloquent adjectives and adverbs.
2. When crafting haiku, think of a group of words that present an observation in a way that appeals to the senses. Use sight, touch, sound, smell, taste, or sensations like pain or movement.
3. Tell of a specific event or observation; do not write in general terms.
4. Write in the present tense. What are the poet’s feelings in the moment of writing haiku? Capture it.
5. When describing an event, present it as an image.
I watched the rain Drops as they splattered Into the puddle.
Soft warm splatterings Echoing in circles Settle in the puddle.
So what should haiku accomplish? What should it provide the reader? According to the classic haiku poets of Japan, haiku should present the reader with an observation of a natural, commonplace event, in the simplest words. The effect of haiku is one of "sparseness". It's a momentary snatch from time's flow, crystallized and distilled. Nothing more.
Of all the forms of poetry, haiku perhaps is the most demanding of the reader. It demands the reader's participation because haiku merely suggests something in the hopes that the reader will find "a glimpse of hitherto unrecognized depths in the self." Without a sensitive audience, haiku is nothing.
We are beyond writing the silly. Change me. Make me care.
Go outside and look at one small object or event in nature. Watch a cricket move, describe a leaf, observe the clouds. Record what you see, then work it into haiku.
Japanese has a set of words, kigo, that refer to specific seasons and are fundamental to haiku. English has no agreed upon set, but do try to use words that refer to a season, or lead the reader to sense a season.
Haiku derives from a type of Japanese court poetry called tanka that was popularized and refined during the 9th through 12 centuries.
Tanka was often written to explore religious themes and had a structure of five lines with 5-7-5-7-7 syllable structure.
During this period, it became a popular activity to write long strings of linked tanka verse. One person would often contribute the first three lines (5-7-5) of the poetic chain and a different author would complete the chain by composing a 7-7 section. Then another author would build on the previous 7-7, with another 5-7-5 passage. This chaining of verses called renga, could sometimes add up to hundreds of linked tanka.
Three great masters of hokku, Basho, Buson and Issa, lived during Japan's Edo-period (1600-1868) and their work still exerts a great deal of influence on how haiku is written today.
All three men were born in rural villages and spent many years practicing and refining their art form as well as wandering the countryside, observing nature and the human condition. They followed in a long Japanese tradition of poet-wanders, who seek to experience the word through direct contact.
Born outside of Kyoto, Matsuo Kinsaku was the son of a low-ranking Samurai. Little is known of his early years. However, after writing verse as a child, Matsuo moved to Edo (present day Tokyo) where he worked towards establishing himself as a writer.
By the age of 34, Matsuo was recognized as a master and a circle of poets began to form around him. Ironically, it was at this time that Matsuo began to recede from the scene. He moved to modest dwellings –a gamekeepers hut –outside of town. It was there that he received an unexpected gift that changed him –one of his students gave him a banana tree, or basho. The banana tree is a broad-leaved plant that tends to dwarf other plants around it. It also was an exotic tree, uncommon to Japan. Perhaps for these reasons, from that point on, Matsuo became known simply as Basho. Every hut he inhabited the rest of his life included a basho tree and he often traveled carrying one with him.
The poet Basho infused a new sensibility and sensitivity to this form in the late seventeenth century. He transformed the poetics and turned the hokku into an independent poem, later to be known as haiku. Basho's work focused around the concept of karumi (a feeling of lightness)—so much so that he abandoned the traditional syllabic limitations to achieve it.
where tears meet laughterhow elusive is the sourcewhence a smile melts tears
whence a smile melts tearshow elusive is the sourcewhere tears meet laughter
Winds blowing lightly Leaves whispering in the darkStars twinkling above
Leaves are drifting in the nightThe stars are so brightShivering I hold you tight
waiting for the words
the depth of me in haiku
tell you who I am
I am who you tell me
In haiku, the depth of me
The words are waiting