Friday, September 15, 2006

To Read: Modern Haiku, Summer 2006

I recommend you check out the samplings from the latest edition of Modern Haiku online.

The haiku and senryu section has some lovely offerings. Don't skip the tiny beauties by Patricia Neubauer and w.f. owen.

Before you head off to that poetry site, let me put you in the mood with one from Basho (the master):

Now the swinging bridge
Is quieted with creepers
Like our tendrilled life

And one by Issa:

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

And this by Mayuzumi Madoka

a shooting star --
in love with someone, not knowing
where it will lead me

I admit that I'm not very good at writing haiku. (I tend toward more expansive poetry.) But I think that one of my writing goals next year will be to learn to write them. The kind of concentration and focus haiku requires in order to find the observation that carries a resonance, that small drop that ripples out--it's not a bad thing to practice for a writer/poet.

If you enjoy creating haiku, then consider this contest, with a March 2007 deadline.

Since I love SF, I pass on to you one that Deb Kolodji (new president of the Science Fiction Poetry Association) posted recently on her blog:

life story told
as if from another planet
science fiction


Steven said...

Dear Mir,

The main problem I have with most modern haiku is that everyone is taught in third grade that they can write them. As a result people cram prose into syllable-divided lines and miss the whole point of the haiku.

In addition, even more difficult is that japanese is an "expansive language" with nearly every word and expression requiring more than one syllable just to say it. For example the word for plum blossoms is five syllables long. To say "I" in the shortest possible way, requires three syllables--the more formal way (haiku language) requires 4.

As a result, English haiku don't even begin to give you a sense of the Japanese compression. So, what I alwasy suggest, if you want a test of the Japanese art, is to produce your haiku with a syllable count of 3-5-3 rather than 5-7-5. It gives you more of a sense of what composition in Japanese is like.



Mirtika said...

Thank you, Steven. That a nice, compact bit of info on haiku (pun intended). :)