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Is Haiku Poetry?

Started by Jim Kacian, November 22, 2010, 08:01:26 PM

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chibi575

Preprequel:  What is poetry?
Prequel: What is haiku?

I've wrestled with the second much more than with the first. 

The definition I'm most likely to pin down is that haiku is a poetic notion of Shiki and was not directed to any other language than Japanese.  Shiki's notion was to coin "haiku" as rooted from "hokku" and renku.

So, until if I go on the above, I would soley have to address the question, "Is Haiku Poetry?" in relation to Japanese.  The answer to that would be that the Japanese believe that haiku is poetry, I feel.



知美

Lorin

Poetry -
but what is poetry.
Many shaky answers
have been given to this question.
But I don't know and don't know and hold on to it
like to a sustaining railing.


from 'Some like Poetry' - Wislawa Szymborska
- translated by Regina Grol

colin stewart jones

Histoire des Mentalities


mental collectif with or without the qualifying adjective
all needing sensitive support of thought.
schemata of perception and appreciation:
a reciprocal dependence that unite
materiaux d'idees formless and meaningless;
or meaning less if viewed as form?

colin stewart jones :)
_________________________

bear us in mind for your work

Colin Stewart Jones
Editor
Notes from the Gean: monthly haiku journal

www.geantreepress.com

hairy

anything is poetry if it has a metric flow even prose can have poetic moments even speech can be poetry but if it lacks metrical motion like a car without a motor or a boat without a rudder..it becomes prose


so to answer: if the haiku poem flows like a river at eventide it is poetry if it lapses into quotidian aphorisms it is prose


in summation:  haiku can be poetry or prose


hairy (fusion of haiku and senryu) 

chibi575

Quote from: hairy on December 11, 2010, 12:32:34 PM
anything is poetry if it has a metric flow even prose can have poetic moments even speech can be poetry but if it lacks metrical motion like a car without a motor or a boat without a rudder..it becomes prose


so to answer: if the haiku poem flows like a river at eventide it is poetry if it lapses into quotidian aphorisms it is prose


in summation:  haiku can be poetry or prose


hairy (fusion of haiku and senryu) 

hairy (fusion of haiku and senryu) 

;))

nice fun "hairy"

PS... in Japanese, haiku is ha.i.ku and senryu is se.n.ryu
知美

Gael Bage

interesting reading, agreeing with a lot here, Don, adding to your voice often a unique voice.
and is it mere reportage, well hopefully it trancends reportage, but also some reportage can also be poetry...  :)
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance
- Carl Sandburg

AlanSummers

Gael said:

Quote from: Gael  Bage on February 11, 2011, 11:55:16 AM
interesting reading, agreeing with a lot here, Don, adding to your voice often a unique voice.
and is it mere reportage, well hopefully it trancends reportage, but also some reportage can also be poetry...  :)

It depends what you mean by reportage.  It's interesting that most non-fiction books (but nonetheless creative writing) about Iraq and Afghanistan are done by journalists.  There may be some poetry type scansion in some writing but they are certainly doing a better job than poets at the moment with exceptions of:
Brian Turner: http://www.amazon.com/Here-Bullet-Brian-Turner/dp/1882295552
Brian Turner: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brian_Turner_%28American_poet%29

And I've had the privlige of seeing Dikra Ridha's raw poetry at degree level workshops during my Masters Degree at Bath Spa University. 

Dikra so impressed one publisher that she got a book deal straight out of the Masters: http://carrieetter.blogspot.com/2010/06/dikra-ridhas-ordinary-evening.html

You can read her Ordinary Evening in its final version in the weblink above.

Dikra's family still live in Baghad.

So it depends what you mean by reportage, and which reportage you consider poetic, and what you mean by poetic aspects of reportage. 

This is an interesting area to bring up, thanks Gael!

Alan

Bill Cullen

For me, a successful haiku is a breath-long prose poem with gaps embedded in it where words would normally be expected to be and instead little intimations of eternity shine through.

Mary Stevens

It certainly comes from the same place in me as poetry: it feels the same when inspiration strikes. And I get that feeling in no other activity. The only difference is the meticulousness of my process of revision. My standards for haiku are much, much higher and more exacting. That doesn't mean it's not a poem, it's just that there is a lot of craft in the artistic process.

Even at it's most basic form of just stating what is can be likened to photography, which is generally accepted as an art form. But most haiku go beyond that to a deeper meaning or truth.
"A word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die..."

            —Emily Dickinson

aelvey

Thank you everyone for a very interesting discussion. I have been wondering about the way for me writing haiku differs from other parts of my poetic practice, and sometimes I think I want to hold on to a short poem that might look like haiku but is not, because it is not so much about capturing a moment in careful observation without telling too much, but about a different kind of poetic association. This discussion is helpful to me in distinguishing better between short poems that are not haiku and the kind of thing that may be an effective haiku. In some of my writing I often rely on the unconscious to call forth images and associations and then refine and shape these. But there are other writings (among them haiku) that are more immediately attentive to the moment and place. I found the discussion of "is haiku poetry?" very helpful.

Diana Webb

Ezra Pound once wrote that in his opinion 'music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance;that poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music; but this must not be taken as implying that all good music is dance music or all poetry lyric. Bach and Mozart are never too far from
physical movement.'
So what am I trying to say about haiku as poetry? That for me(at the moment) it needs to have musicality and also some sense of movement within its inner space. My current formula for thinking about haiku is CUFEM. C for Communicattes U for Universality F for Feeling E for Epiphany and M for Musicality.

Mary Stevens

Oh, I like it, Diana! Thank you for the excellent quotation, too!

Mary
"A word that breathes distinctly
Has not the power to die..."

            —Emily Dickinson

hairy

I agree with Diana..haiku without cadence is like a car without an engine--its driving force. If I have a choice between two similar words and one is slightly better but jars the line and the other enhances the cadence (perhaps better alliteration) , I'll opt for the latter every time. I say this because I believe haiku is poetry and poetry is motion, movement (and alliteration one of its greatest tools--if used subtlely).

Just some musings..

Al  

Adam Traynor

I want to call attention to an interesting thread currently happening on the blog. It seems to relate to this question of haiku and poetry, among other things. Be great if a few people here picked up on it.

Here's the link:

http://www.thehaikufoundation.org/2011/04/21/haikunow-winners/comment-page-1/#comments


tray

martin1223@comcast.net


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