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.

Friday, April 15, 2005

Toward Definitions: 10th Approximation

This is the tenth and last of a series of approximations, posted with the intention of moving gradually closer to, without ever hoping to arrive at, a definition of the formal aspects of haiku. Although these have been presented in a tone of pedantry only to be expected, I fear, from a retired academic, they are meant essentially to outline my personal understanding of what I think I'm doing when I write what I claim is haiku. Thoughts on issues of content, including the haiku/senryu relationship will be presented now and then in no particular order. Like the haiku and senryu I've posted, these approximations invite comments, questions, corrections, and criticism.
All of these approximations have assumed as the norm the three-line form most familiar in English. Is that the form of haiku? Well, no. There are also one-line, two-line, and four-line haiku. This raises a question [Excuse a cranky old English teacher's observation that it doesn't beg the question; it raises it.]: How much formal variation can be allowed to haiku before it ceases to be haiku and becomes simply the short poem? The answer is simply stated: There is no answer.
My interest in my own practice has been primarily in the three-line form, and I expect that will continue to be the case. I post here one of my few experiments in the two-line option. I wrote this one in February.

overcoats flapping
midwinter thaw


Blogger kara said...

Cor van den Heuvel composed some one line haiku.
One of my favorites:
"a stick goes over the falls at sunset"

3:43 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Yeah, that's a beauty.

4:00 PM  
Blogger Gone Away said...

Ah, hooray for art, like life itself, always straying outside the lines. Slippery, nippery, flippery haiku!

call it weed...
preferred by the butterfly

DW Bender

7:28 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

DW: Always a pleasure to hear from you. Yes, art doesn't know its place. Ain't it cool? Your two-liner is beautiful.

7:59 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Poet said...

Great. Very evocative. A day in March. Perfect.

7:42 PM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

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

7:49 AM  

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