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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:00 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
...if those are the more stable elements in your mind, what are the malleable elements? Can a haiku be about any subject, or is there more stability there than I think?

Although you're addressing Ben, here, indulge me for jumping in to say that really, the thing to do is to look into sites that are dedicated to the form. I'm too much of a rogue at it to be taken without a grain of salt, and there are far, far better examples than mine to study. Suffice it to say that there are different schools of thought about it, and indeed, historically the Japanese themselves have had their controversies and factions, too.

From the technical end, as Ben says: When building serious haiku in English (and probably any language other than Japanese, for that matter), it is a matter of having made compromises, since the original standards can never be met on their own terms. New, approximate standards befitting each language must be set. That's just how it is. But it's hard to know what this really means unless you have at least a casual familiarity with how the original works. If you really want to attempt serious haiku in English, I think it's essential to have a look into the original so you can know what you're doing, and why.

At this point Ben and I happen to share similar standards. However, in my personal style (and because Japanese poets have also been flexible about it), the contrasting line need not necessarily be reserved for last. It must be said that a contrasting last line is going to be strong because it reinforces that sense of coda, so that's always a good way to go. It's poetically classic for good reason, and sticking to it is personal style and signature. OTOH, I'm comfortable with giving the contrasting line other placements, as well; it's all composition either way. Composition is never wrong; it simply either succeeds, or it doesn't. Then there's the syllabic flexibility in the English form; I used to disdain the practice as weak, but now it's catching my eye. There are some good writers out there who aren't afraid to use it, and they use it well. After all, where shikashinagara covers a lot of real estate, all you might need for the same spirit is "But...". The effect has begun to strike me audiovisually as something comparable somehow to ikebana, and I think that's a good accommodation for our language, aesthetically. But it's personal style. Maybe I'll do it that way too, some day.

This might be what you mean by "malleable", Aaron. It's really hard to lay this stuff out as if it were a concrete whole, a nugget you could look at and say, "Aha!". The more good haiku you read, and the more experienced commentary too, the more natural and understandable the form becomes for you. Putting it crudely, for me it's like this: The writer has set the game, but the simplicity can be deceptive, so that's the sport in it. And maybe I should get out more. Understand that if I'm not addressing the issue directly, it's because I'm honestly not equal to the task; others could inform you better. It's worth it. There are some real stunners out there that can make you wish you could write like that.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:43 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
... ...
Could say most of that about the tunes people here play.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:46 pm 
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david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
... ...
Could say most of that about the tunes people here play.

And I would have said that too, but goodness knows you have to shut up sometime.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:19 pm 
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Nanohedron wrote:
david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
... ...
Could say most of that about the tunes people here play.

And I would have said that too, but goodness knows you have to shut up sometime.
If it works as allegory why say more ? :)


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:26 pm 
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If you're asking that seriously, it's because I wanted first to speak directly to Haiku itself, and that analogies could come later to tie things up. In this case I thought I'd said enough. Analogies right off the bat don't always work, either: If learning tunes from instruments other than our own may also be likened to learning by analogy, I once knew a melody/backup guitarist who couldn't learn tunes by ear unless it was gotten from a guitar in kind; otherwise it was the dots. From banjo or flute? Forget it. At least that's she said, anyway. Kind of a balky sort. Not that not catching analogies makes you balky; it doesn't. Her real issue was over-reliance on the dots.

I also didn't want the recipient to mistake brevity for a brushoff. Did I commit overreach? That's up to you. :)

Damn, it's hard to get that hook out of my mouth. :wink:

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 2:06 pm 
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Okay, back to the original topic. It's Nov. 24, and at 2pm, the temperature's 60F (15.5C). Not that I'm complaining, but with state temps ranging from a grossly unseasonable -8F (-22C) in early Nov. to a quite unseasonable 60F in late November? I'm getting downright punchy.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 7:18 pm 
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Nano posts long
Aar’n tries oh so hard.
Then there’s Ben.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sat Jan 27, 2018 8:02 pm 
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walrii wrote:
Nano posts long

You guys make me.

walrii wrote:
Then there’s Ben.

Ha. That'll get him going. :thumbsup:

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 28, 2018 2:02 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
walrii wrote:
Nano posts long

You guys make me.
"You guys" need to stop. :wink:

Nanohedron wrote:
walrii wrote:
Then there’s Ben.

Ha. That'll get him going. :thumbsup:
Trouble is ... in which direction? :-?

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