A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Toward Definitions: 4th Approximation

Dropping in at random on various blogs that offer the odd haiku now and then,
I've found widespread adherence to two questionable notions regarding haiku. First, as to form. Many people seem to think that the 17-syllable, 5-7-5 format is absolutely obligatory. As I've indicated in previous posts, the practice of haiku poets in English is not nearly so restrictive: syllabic, free, and accentual haiku are all acceptable on just about equal footing. I've also pointed out that the belief that the Japanese haiku consists of 17 syllables is an oversimplification, since the Japanese on is only an approximate equivalent of the English syllable.

On the other hand, these bloggers' approach to content is pretty much "Anything goes." As a definition, a haiku is anything that's on your mind in 17 syllables divided into three lines of 5, 7, 5 syllables. Well, of course, I respect your constitutional right to say what you want in 17 syllables or less or more. But haiku has traditionally meant something more precise, something worth keeping. What that something is is the subject of these approximations. For the moment, let me throw out a couple of unsupported propositions (Supporting them being, again, the longterm goal of these approximations.). The heart of haiku is perception. The goal of haiku is mindfulness.


Anonymous Jim said...

What are you, some kinda expert all of a sudden!?! :)

2:14 PM  
Anonymous uao said...

I think this is a good post. I didn't understand the flexibility of the syllable thing myself, and I like how it opens new avenues.

4:03 PM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
Kerja Keras Adalah Energi Kita

7:59 AM  

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