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.

Thursday, March 27, 2008


the laugh
that . . .
doesn't . . .
come . . .
(Shiki Kukai, February 2008)


Blogger polona said...


10:28 AM  
Blogger John McDonald said...

that awkward moment well caught bill

11:32 AM  
Anonymous gautami tripathy said...

It happens with the best of us..

5:20 PM  
Blogger Magyar said...

... long moments. _m

7:01 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Somebody once said, "dying is easy; comedy is hard." Thanks, polona, John, gautami, magyar.

9:21 PM  
Blogger Tikkis said...

a poet --
writing a haiku
with too many syllables

12:02 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Who's counting, tikkis?

4:29 PM  
Blogger floots said...

wonderful evocation of a silent moment
thank you

12:07 AM  
Blogger Tikkis said...

This was more personal for myself, perhaps? In Finland many say that the haiku must be exactly 5-7-5.
(And the waka or tanka 5-7-5-7-7.)

Writing in Finnish it's not not so difficult, but when translating from Japanese it sometimes is.

And it's too easy to write too many syllables into a short poem! In Finnish.

6:41 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, floots.

The syllable count issue is by no means settled in the US, tikkis, but most serious haiku poets reject the strict 5-7-5 rule. My own view is that individual line lengths may vary, but we should limit ourselves to a 17-syllable maximum, unless a greater length is demanded by the meaning. I also prefer the 3-line format, although I've written 1-liners (one will appear in the next issue of Acorn), 2-liners, and 4-liners as well. As you say, what works in one language may not work in another.

11:01 AM  
Blogger jem said...

This is great, and really captures that sense of discomfort. It reminds me of a once only trip (many years ago) to a comedy club to see and friend perform his first stand up show. He died on the stage. No one laughed, not even his friends. I don't know him these days but he regularly appears on tv - so I guess he got there in the end.

6:18 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks for sharing that, jem.

8:11 AM  
Blogger Pat Paulk said...

Standing up while sinking in the pits of despair.

5:34 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Stand-up is truly gladiatorial, pat.

7:53 AM  
Blogger steve said...

splendid pauses - have also heard this lately in speeches where applause was supposed to come in

5:34 AM  
Blogger Bill said...

Thanks, Steve. I've never been a stand-up comic, but I've known a few. And I've had the experience of having an academic witticism fall flat before a Freshman English class.

8:15 AM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

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6:24 AM  

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