Mindlovemisery's Menagerie

A dose of fetish. Good friends. An incomparable muse.

Heeding Haiku With HA: Improving Our Haiku # 1

We have had a lot of fun writing haiku and tanka since the beginning of the prompt. Now is the time that we try and refine our creations. For that, I would like you to study the structure and character of haiku with me. We are not going to dwell on the Japanese and original aspects of haiku. We are rather going to study such aspects which apply to the language that we use as a medium for writing haiku, that being English:

1. As you must have all ingrained in your mind that English haiku is written in a three line syllable structure of 5/7/5. But let me tell you that that is untrue. It is not false. It is just untrue. This basic rule has arisen from the Japanese definition of haiku, the language in which haiku is written in three lines:  the first line with five kanas, the second with seven and the third with five kanas again. This unrhymed poem celebrates a moment. And there is no similarity between kanas(which I don’t understand because I don’t know Japanese) and syllables. And thus, you are ordained free to write freely without considering syllables. But keep in mind that it has to be a very short poem, which is most preferably written in short-long-short structure.

pebble in mouth-

a sparrow heeds the rain

before flying away

2. The break, which is present after the first line in the previous haiku marked with a hyphen, is suggestive of the fact that English haiku is written in two parts. For example, pebble in mouth is a fragment and the rest is the body of the haiku. That fragment is supposed to be at the first line or the last one. This haiku which I wrote on 22 April can be an example of the same:

breathless is my plea

under satin sky of dawn-

selfless wanderings

3. Kigo or season word, which I have mentioned time and again in the Guidelines at the end of many previous prompts, is an important element of haiku. We don’t use it all the time but it adds a charm to the writing and enforces that image of a moment which we have narrated through our creation, so that our readers can see it through the eyes of their mind.

a withered pot

tumbles to the ground-

flowers burst open

This haiku also features Juxtaposition.

4. Juxtaposition is a poetic element in which two facts or images are placed side by side to create an effect of contrast. In Haiku, we can do so by pointing out two contrasting or two completely different images which when analyzed create a meaning(not understood at first glance). For example, the image of a “withered pot” and the “flowers bursting” is in contrast to each other in the previous haiku.

This week, I would like you to consider all these points and write a haiku or a series of haiku. Adopt three steps, namely PWEd: Practice, Write and Edit.

What to do next?

1. Publish a post with your haiku if you have a blog. If you haven’t got a blog, you can share them in the comments down below. In case you have published a post, you can submit its link in the linking widget.

2. After you have made the post, take some of your time and visit the links of other participants. This is how we learn and improvise. Return again at the end of the week if you have made your post during the weekdays because there would be new links to visit, which would help us all to make connections and develop the feeling of community and togetherness in our adventure every week. Even if you can’t take out the time to visit all the links, then visit at least the link shared before or after you and offer your feedback and develop comradeship with that person.

Happy Writing!

You can also add the following tags to your post: HeedingHaikuWithHA and MindLoveMisery’s Menagerie.

About anmol(alias HA)

I write poems, prose, and things that lie somewhere in between and beyond.

12 comments on “Heeding Haiku With HA: Improving Our Haiku # 1

  1. arushiahuja
    July 9, 2014

    A very educative post HA!! thank you….

  2. Bastet
    July 9, 2014

    A very useful post HA! Thanks.

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  5. marit31
    July 10, 2014

    good post. nice poems.
    did you ever consider using the term “onji” rather than “kana”? onji are the sounds (i.e. ‘a’, ‘ka’, ‘tsu’) that are used to make words in Japanese.* the reason being is that “kana” is a cut word itself (in Japanese) and often used within a poem.**
    * Higginson, William J., Penny Harter. “The Haiku Handbook”. New York: Kodansha, 1985. 100-101. Print.
    ** Addiss, Stephan. “The Art of Haiku”. Boston, MA.: Shambhala, 2012. 4-5. Print.

    • anmol(alias HA)
      July 10, 2014

      Thank you.
      Actually, I don’t understand Japanese. I read the word kana in some of the haiku related articles I have read and thus basing on them, I attributed that term for the sounds in Japanese. But thanks a lot for the clarification. I will keep that in mind. 🙂

  6. awomansaved
    July 12, 2014

    Thank you for the detailed explanation and wonderful examples. I also love that you encourage us into community fellowship! Sweet Blessings, Deborah

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  10. Abhyudaya
    March 21, 2015

    A very useful post. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  11. Pingback: Menacing clouds (Haiku – Senryû) – Traces of the Soul

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