I am starting this blog because I have just started to learn some of the intricasies of the ancient form of Japanese poetry, haiku. Having never really uttered a poetic word onpaper I am finding it an absolutely fascinating subject.
As I learn more I will be posting some of my writings and hopefully, as time goes on, to improve these thought provoking short poems

The history of haiku goes far back into the mists of time starting with tanta a poem of 5 lines with a 57577 sylabic rhythm. this is perhaps where Haiku originated with it’s 3 line 575 pattern. It would appear that the Tanta form developed into the community form of rengu in which the first verse (hoku) was added to by a 77 pattern and then again added to by a 575 and so on. Apparently these rengu could reach as many as 100 verses. (more to follow)

Incidentally the plural of haiku is haiku and not capialised.

The western sylabic system is somewhat different to the Japanese system making it somewhat difficult to translate Japanese haiku into english and still maintain the 575 system. It is this difficulty that has created the Western forms of haiku.

Following the 575 sylable form in english tends to make the haiku combersome and long. So there is a tendancy to still follow the 3 line short, long, short method but without the sylable count. Also the standard japanese rules of: stating or implying the season (and in japanese there are many); writing the first two or last two lines with a caesure at the end of the second line with third line contrasting or associating with the two-line couplet.

Hope all this makes sense, as I learn more I will clarify more,

sparkling white snow

beneath a cold moonlit sky

lone footprints

I have only recently started learning some of the intracacies of this japanese poetic form. 2008 12 01.


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