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Defining Haiku

Started by BrokenWordsPoet, August 04, 2014, 02:20:03 PM

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BrokenWordsPoet

What is haiku other than 5/7/5 guidelines or 17 syllables or less?  What exactly is a haiku, plural haiku is haiku.  Every word processor underlines haikus as a misspelling and at the same time many seem to ignore the misspelling and post it anyway.

If one is to take the word haiku a part into syllables===  hai-ku what would each individual part mean?

I've often seen this comment when a person comments on a haiku entry- I like this ku.

Now what one would think by such a comment is either ku is short for haiku or ku is one entry into a person's haiku, the person has written in there life time.

If we pick a Master to read their haiku, we read their entire journey and what we read is their haiku, their life's journey from first ku to the end of their haiku.

When I write my haiku I number them with first lines marked like this ( ) in brackets.

Haiku #252 (hurricane)

hurricane
bangs the house
whoooooooooooo

by James W, McRight Jr.


Haiku #251 (spider)


spider crawls up instructor's leg squished haiku

by James W. McRight Jr.


So is ku one entry of a haiku?   

AlanSummers

Hi James,

Quote from: BrokenWordsPoet on August 04, 2014, 02:20:03 PM
What is haiku other than 5/7/5 guidelines or 17 syllables or less?  What exactly is a haiku, plural haiku is haiku.  Every word processor underlines haikus as a misspelling and at the same time many seem to ignore the misspelling and post it anyway.


I'm not sure there's any 5/7/5 guidelines.  The Japanese just naturally use units of sounds called 'on' which are like morae,  in 5-on or 7-on, from wet floor signs, other informationals, traffic announcements, advertising, conversation, and also poetry in its many forms, including haiku.

I'd say haiku is a poem despite originating as the first stanza of a larger poem written by different authors.


Quote
If one is to take the word haiku a part into syllables===  hai-ku what would each individual part mean?

To break up haiku into Japanese on (morse) it would be:  ha i ku = 3 of their units

on:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/On_(Japanese_prosody)
http://www.worldhaiku.net/archive/metrics.pdf
http://www.worldhaiku.net/archive/onji.pdf

ku means verse

ha/hai has various meanings in itself, and when added to 'ku', the most common being 'light' or 'humorous' but not in the Western sense.

Quote
I've often seen this comment when a person comments on a haiku entry- I like this ku.

Now what one would think by such a comment is either ku is short for haiku or ku is one entry into a person's haiku, the person has written in there life time.

If it's an English-language forum about haiku I would say someone is using shorthand for 'haiku'   ;)

Quote
If we pick a Master to read their haiku, we read their entire journey and what we read is their haiku, their life's journey from first ku to the end of their haiku.

For those who write about their life, like Issa, Santoka, and Ozaki, while others embellished their haikai verses (pre-Shiki) with fiction or faction.

Quote
When I write my haiku I number them with first lines marked like this ( ) in brackets.

Another good way to collate your haiku.  :)

Quote
So is ku one entry of a haiku?   

When members of a non-Japanese-language forum about haiku use the word 'ku' I would say they are referring to a single haiku poem.

Look forward to seeing some of your poetry posted here.  :)

warm regards,

Alan


QUOTE in full:
Quote from: BrokenWordsPoet on August 04, 2014, 02:20:03 PM
What is haiku other than 5/7/5 guidelines or 17 syllables or less?  What exactly is a haiku, plural haiku is haiku.  Every word processor underlines haikus as a misspelling and at the same time many seem to ignore the misspelling and post it anyway.

If one is to take the word haiku a part into syllables===  hai-ku what would each individual part mean?

I've often seen this comment when a person comments on a haiku entry- I like this ku.

Now what one would think by such a comment is either ku is short for haiku or ku is one entry into a person's haiku, the person has written in there life time.

If we pick a Master to read their haiku, we read their entire journey and what we read is their haiku, their life's journey from first ku to the end of their haiku.

When I write my haiku I number them with first lines marked like this ( ) in brackets.

Haiku #252 (hurricane)

hurricane
bangs the house
whoooooooooooo

by James W, McRight Jr.


Haiku #251 (spider)


spider crawls up instructor's leg squished haiku

by James W. McRight Jr.


So is ku one entry of a haiku?   
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

BrokenWordsPoet

#2
I am very interested in defining just what a haiku is, not the elements which I see posted to define haiku. 

Would you say as I feel that describing haiku by its elements is not defining just what haiku is but, how to write a haiku?

ha i ku = seems like something a dove would say. One would have to listen very close to hear a three syllable count, because the word is spoken so fast in the English language.

What is very interest to me can you describe haiku without the elements?

Haiku to me has been a calendar of numbered entries. 

Haiku is a journey of one's writing from beginning to end.

When I asked about the ku in haiku you said..

If it's an English-language forum about haiku I would say someone is using shorthand for 'haiku'    ;)

Then you said down below that.

When members of a non-Japanese-language forum about haiku use the word 'ku' I would say they are referring to a single haiku poem.

Is this a misconception, did you mean to say, a single entry into one's haiku.  That is if one defines haiku as a body of works.

We see all the time in other styles of poetry, where stanzas are numbered, some with roman numerals, the numbering of one's haiku is no more than marking stanzas.

Haiku is a haiku poet's journey, not just a single entry unless there was only time to write one entry.


I wrote this sentence in a discussion and I asked the beginners haiku class to offer the meaning of the sentence in detail.

Jewels is one playful kitten and now has become a part of my haiku twice...


The answer was not fourth coming, some turned it into a haiku others focused on every word in front of the word AND totally over read the last part of the sentence as if it did not exist.


The sentence describes, that Jewels is one playful kitten and has become a part of my body of works twice. 



Now describing haiku without describing any elements of haiku, can one define it, as a body of works and is a single ku just an entry?

How does one define elements in haiku then stop short of defining just what the word haiku means? 

ha i ku

I just saw how to add quotes and I am not use to the format as of yet.


AlanSummers

#3
Hi James,

Quote from: BrokenWordsPoet on August 04, 2014, 06:51:30 PM
I am very interested in defining just what a haiku is, not the elements which I see posted to define haiku.

There are certainly many descriptions and definitions outside Japan.  :)


"Today it may be possible to describe haiku but not to define it."


Hiroaki Sato:
Author; Japan Times Columnist; winner of the 1982 PEN Translation Prize; and Editor of various books including "One Hundred Frogs: From Matsuo Basho to Allen Ginsberg"; and Basho's "Narrow road: spring & autumn passages."

Quote
Would you say as I feel that describing haiku by its elements is not defining just what haiku is but, how to write a haiku?

I think we need to mention the contents of a formal poem in order to encapsulate its outer appearance.  A sonnet used to be 14 lines for example, that was its defining description, but of course sonnets are no longer just 14 lines.  ;)

I think we also need to be cautious not to demand a definition of haiku because that can shut out the very people who keep haiku alive, whether established writers experimenting with new approaches, of which Basho is famous for doing, or for those completely new people who bring freshness to what can become quite quickly a tired formulaic 'template'.

Quote
ha i ku = seems like something a dove would say. One would have to listen very close to hear a three syllable count, because the word is spoken so fast in the English language.

It's a Japanese word rendered in romaji (Romanised Japanese, something the Japanese created for non-Japanese people to grasp).

The Japanese language systems (plural) contain a syllabary but that is not the same as a language system containing syllables.

Here's a link where I touch on the many language systems that the Japanese utilise for their written language:  http://area17.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/extended-judges-report-for-2013-world.html

Although non-Japanese writers and Japanese women may often read a haiku in six seconds, Japanese men often read them in three seconds.  To the non-Japanese ear 'haiku' might sound like 'hike'.

Quote
What is very interest to me can you describe haiku without the elements?

Personally no, other than to simply say: "haiku"  :)   Just as many of us will know that 'novel' in the context of literature is a way of containing a story in words placed in type.

Quote
Haiku to me has been a calendar of numbered entries. 

An interesting definition.

Quote
Haiku is a journey of one's writing from beginning to end.

Interesting. I like that.

Quote
When I asked about the ku in haiku you said..

If it's an English-language forum about haiku I would say someone is using shorthand for 'haiku'    ;)

Then you said down below that.

When members of a non-Japanese-language forum about haiku use the word 'ku' I would say they are referring to a single haiku poem.

Is this a misconception, did you mean to say, a single entry into one's haiku.  That is if one defines haiku as a body of works.

In my first statement, yes, 'ku' is often said rather than type out all five letters.
Second statement, yes, a single haiku poem.

I don't see any misconception personally.  Each statement refers to the term 'ku' being read as verse, and usually to do with a haiku poem.   Of course 'ku' means verse, so it easily refer to renku or renga, but people usually mean haiku though.

I personally don't understand what you've said: "a single entry into one's haiku" Could you elucidate on that?

re:
QuoteThat is if one defines haiku as a body of works.

Well, haiku is the singular spelling and also the plural spelling, so it can refer to just one haiku poem or thousands.


QuoteWe see all the time in other styles of poetry, where stanzas are numbered, some with roman numerals, the numbering of one's haiku is no more than marking stanzas.

Yes, like:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Cantos
http://www.poets.org/poetsorg/poem/canto-i

Quote
Haiku is a haiku poet's journey, not just a single entry unless there was only time to write one entry.

Haiku (plural) could indeed be seen as a journey both for author and reader.  I guess calling a single haiku an entry is an intriguing way to call them.

Quote
I wrote this sentence in a discussion and I asked the beginners haiku class to offer the meaning of the sentence in detail.

Jewels is one playful kitten and now has become a part of my haiku twice...


The answer was not fourth coming, some turned it into a haiku others focused on every word in front of the word AND totally over read the last part of the sentence as if it did not exist.


The sentence describes, that Jewels is one playful kitten and has become a part of my body of works twice.


I've often written about cats in haiku, indeed 'cats in love' is a kigo.  :) 


Quote
Now describing haiku without describing any elements of haiku, can one define it, as a body of works and is a single ku just an entry?

It could be said that all haiku, from everyone who has ever written haiku, in any number, pertains to a single poem constantly being updated, around the world, and every day there are more single haiku poems  being added to the vast canon of haiku.  Yes.


Quote
How does one define elements in haiku then stop short of defining just what the word haiku means? 


I guess in the same way no one agonises over what the word 'poem' or 'novel' means, we just get on with the writing, otherwise we wouldn't be writers.

The word 'haiku' is an old word that Masaoka Shiki (October 14, 1867 – September 19, 1902) re-introduced to revitalise what had become a tired game of renga (or renku). 

Shiki decided to officially announce that the starting verse of renga/renku called hokku become a standalone poem not just a first verse. 

To do this Shiki officially called it 'haiku'.  Before Shiki, from Basho onwards, hokku were often composed and not used in the communal multi-author poem called renga, and renku.  Haiku is also an abbreviated word for haikai-no-renga, which was often shortened to haikai, then to haiku (by Shiki).

Haikai often means, today, the body of literature from haiku; senryu; haibun; and haiga, but not tanka for some reason.  :)

In the late Meiji period, the poet and literary critic Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902) first used the term haiku for the modern, standalone verses of haikai that Bashō had popularized. Until then, haiku had been called hokku, a term which refers to the first verse in a renga sequence. Shiki also rediscovered Yosa Buson, a prominent "Back to Bashō" poet and painter who died in 1784. Shiki considered Buson a painter in words and a visual poet, and Shiki's writings during the 19th century formed the foundation for the appraisal of Buson's work in most of the 20th century. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haikai#Yosa_Buson_and_Masaoka_Shiki



Quote
ha i ku

I just saw how to add quotes and I am not use to the format as of yet.

Yes, it can take a little time to get to know the various techniques of the forum.  No rush.  :)



QUOTE IN FULL:
Quote from: BrokenWordsPoet on August 04, 2014, 06:51:30 PM
I am very interested in defining just what a haiku is, not the elements which I see posted to define haiku. 

Would you say as I feel that describing haiku by its elements is not defining just what haiku is but, how to write a haiku?

ha i ku = seems like something a dove would say. One would have to listen very close to hear a three syllable count, because the word is spoken so fast in the English language.

What is very interest to me can you describe haiku without the elements?

Haiku to me has been a calendar of numbered entries. 

Haiku is a journey of one's writing from beginning to end.

When I asked about the ku in haiku you said..

If it's an English-language forum about haiku I would say someone is using shorthand for 'haiku'    ;)

Then you said down below that.

When members of a non-Japanese-language forum about haiku use the word 'ku' I would say they are referring to a single haiku poem.

Is this a misconception, did you mean to say, a single entry into one's haiku.  That is if one defines haiku as a body of works.

We see all the time in other styles of poetry, where stanzas are numbered, some with roman numerals, the numbering of one's haiku is no more than marking stanzas.

Haiku is a haiku poet's journey, not just a single entry unless there was only time to write one entry.


I wrote this sentence in a discussion and I asked the beginners haiku class to offer the meaning of the sentence in detail.

Jewels is one playful kitten and now has become a part of my haiku twice...


The answer was not fourth coming, some turned it into a haiku others focused on every word in front of the word AND totally over read the last part of the sentence as if it did not exist.


The sentence describes, that Jewels is one playful kitten and has become a part of my body of works twice. 



Now describing haiku without describing any elements of haiku, can one define it, as a body of works and is a single ku just an entry?

How does one define elements in haiku then stop short of defining just what the word haiku means? 

ha i ku

I just saw how to add quotes and I am not use to the format as of yet.
Alan Summers,
founder, Call of the Page
https://www.callofthepage.org

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