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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 9:55 pm 
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In Montreal, we had "frozen dogsh!t reappears" season for about 3 weeks of late March every year.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2017 10:18 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
Since I've mostly been watching from the background and reading posts, rather than posting. In doing so, I feel a bit more familiar with you guys than I really am but I haven't made myself known to you guys either and as a result my joking failed.


That's a structural feature of delurking in online fora. You know us way better than we know you. We're used to it, however, and will rapidly adjust now that you've started posting more frequently.

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And now there was no doubt that the trees were really moving - moving in and out through one another as if in a complicated country dance. ('And I suppose,' thought Lucy, 'when trees dance, it must be a very, very country dance indeed.')

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sat Nov 18, 2017 5:29 pm 
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Under leaden skies
Bare branches reach up to catch
Wheeling pigeon-clouds

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 9:33 am 
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s1m0n wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
Since I've mostly been watching from the background and reading posts, rather than posting. In doing so, I feel a bit more familiar with you guys than I really am but I haven't made myself known to you guys either and as a result my joking failed.


That's a structural feature of delurking in online fora. You know us way better than we know you. We're used to it, however, and will rapidly adjust now that you've started posting more frequently.


Fair enough.

I was also hoping to hear back from Ben Hall, since I had apologized to him but haven't seen him post again on this topic. :/


To Nano:
Thanks for the thorough haiku explanation. It really is great to have a much more thorough explanation. In my education, I think we talked about haikus for one day in middle school and that was the full extent. So, I had never learned to take them seriously.

I will try once more
To give an image in verse.
Empty as the tree.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 11:39 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
... you get the whole package without having to resort to bigger forms such as sonnets and such... ... challenging precisely because of the brevity and metric requirements involved. Crafting a good one in the best sense is not really the easiest thing to do...
Like the many of the tunes that whistle players enjoy. The appreciation haiku by many here always struck me as entirely consistent with other aesthetic preferences exhibited.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2017 4:38 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
To Nano:
Thanks for the thorough haiku explanation. It really is great to have a much more thorough explanation. In my education, I think we talked about haikus for one day in middle school and that was the full extent. So, I had never learned to take them seriously.

Outside of Japan, that's usually the case. Here in the West, we naturally think that such a short form couldn't really be worth anything, and so we write it off. Part of the reason for this incomprehension is that Haiku's goals are way different from poetry as we think of it in the West. Consequently, general education ensures that most of the time people aren't going to really know more until they look into it for themselves.

You should also know that haiku isn't all that Japan has for poetry. Their other forms are of course longer and more descriptive, like the poetry we usually think of. They just happened to be the ones to come up with haiku, for some reason.

There are actually haiku societies and competitions all over the world, now, and there is a side movement that pairs photography with the form. I don't participate, myself. I just like to craft them from time to time, as well as other forms, too. I've done an English sonnet or maybe two, but I'm normally too lazy to keep at that. :wink:

AaronFW wrote:
I will try once more
To give an image in verse.
Empty as the tree.

Here you seem to be onto a better direction. I'm able to get more of a sense of your Now, but that might be me imposing it, because I'm not sure that that's what you were really doing. If you'll indulge me, let's touch on the issues I see here:

Here I'm able to see the image of a poet working at his desk, not satisfied, but poised to continue (and wearing white, for some reason). That works. But if you don't mind my saying so, the tree part is iffy and unsatisfying for me. There's an almost Zen-like quality to it that I nevertheless find interesting, but being overt about it has its pitfalls, and the substance is beyond my reach. If a Mahayanist reference to Emptiness was your intent, all I can say is that these things take practice. Remember: Simply take the mundane, and make it remarkable with almost no words at all. That should be your lodestar in all things haiku.

Another tip is one I've assumed would be obvious from my examples, but I think it still should be said: There will be exceptions - smashing your thumb with a hammer might be one - but wherever possible, in haiku try to avoid referring directly to yourself. No need to be a grind about it, but it's good practice. Ideally, you're supposed to be reporting what's around you. Sure, you can say things like "my window", etc; otherwise things might sound wooden, and you don't want that, either. But again, if you can avoid it and it sounds good without the "my" (done right, it probably will), then go about it that way for sure. Articles and determiners are usually better than personal pronouns and their possessives, although at first you might not think so. Writing about smashing your thumb without "my" might be trickier, because although your thumb isn't you, it's still inescapably yours. So as I said, there will probably always be exceptions, but still one should try. You know, just for the practice and exercise, if nothing else. If it doesn't work, fine. Use the possessive, and move on. In the main, though, remember that although haiku's about what you yourself are experiencing, it's not about you, the one who's experiencing it. A fine point, you might think, but it's a big difference, and one that counts.

For example, rather than "I trudge through the cold / On my way to the market / [ blah blah ] ", try: "A cold trudge to town; / How far that old market is! / [ blah blah ] ", or something on that order instead. Do you see the difference? That is good haiku style. The first was meatless bones, but now we have an image made richer by a sense of reflection. And we can also now feel the cold and how we hunch, clutching at our collar - all just by hint! - whereas the first is too abstract to readily produce an image. So, no need to speak of yourself directly; to do so is superfluous because obviously, you're already in the picture from the start. Plus, as you can see, dropping the "I" and "me" here makes more room for other words you could use to improve the image. :)

Here's a decent guideline with both good and bad examples:

https://thewayofhaiku.wordpress.com/the ... ing-haiku/

And "Tontoism" - not good, Kemosabi. Use your articles.

http://www.graceguts.com/further-readin ... ican-haiku

These should get you sorted for starters.

But I'm done explaining haiku now. And the crowd sighs in relief. :wink:

david_h wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
... you get the whole package without having to resort to bigger forms such as sonnets and such... ... challenging precisely because of the brevity and metric requirements involved. Crafting a good one in the best sense is not really the easiest thing to do...
Like the many of the tunes that whistle players enjoy. The appreciation haiku by many here always struck me as entirely consistent with other aesthetic preferences exhibited.

I'm not sure, but come to think of it, I may have compared dance tunes to haiku before. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 9:47 pm 
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Okay, thumb-smash haiku without self reference:

Why are you laughing?
Do you want your thumb smashed, too?
Ya bleep-bleepin' ... Ow.

Illegitimate (for the persnickety) because I conjured it up out of my head. Thank goodness. But it's just to show that it can be done. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 2:05 pm 
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Okay, it's been pointed out to me, and rightly so, that the above isn't really haiku in the true sense of the word, and I concur.

Being slapstick and lacking a reflective quality and nature reference, it's actually either haikai or senryu, but to tell the truth, I was never really 100% clear on the difference. Same goes for the fruit flies and my defeated cat: those really ought to be called senryu, I think. :)

I promise to be more careful from here on.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:43 am 
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Nanohedron wrote:
Okay, it's been pointed out to me, and rightly so, that the above isn't really haiku in the true sense of the word, and I concur.

Being slapstick and lacking a reflective quality and nature reference, it's actually either haikai or senryu, but to tell the truth, I was never really 100% clear on the difference. Same goes for the fruit flies and my defeated cat: those really ought to be called senryu, I think. :)

I promise to be more careful from here on.


Darkness surrounds
Cold, barren, lost, hopeless,
Illuminated


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:57 am 
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AaronFW wrote:

Darkness surrounds
Cold, barren, lost, hopeless,
Illuminated


There is a veiled reference here that is going to be too vague and situational for anyone other than me to get: when I wrote this I was sitting in a dark room with only my laptop as illumination. So the laptop was both the literal and metaphorical means of illumination.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 1:12 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
So the laptop was both the literal and metaphorical means of illumination.

An analogy for our times. Since the birth of the Internet, much indeed has come to light as never even dreamt of before. But the good comes with the bad, and the true with the false. With such a democratic medium, filtered light is to be expected, I suppose.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:26 pm 
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AaronFW wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
Darkness surrounds
Cold, barren, lost, hopeless,
Illuminated

What is that? Nothing like a haiku at any rate. Wrong scansion, no rhythm, no natural reference, no change in the last line. Hardly even a verse.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 8:02 pm 
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benhall.1 wrote:
AaronFW wrote:
Darkness surrounds
Cold, barren, lost, hopeless,
Illuminated

What is that? Nothing like a haiku at any rate. Wrong scansion, no rhythm, no natural reference, no change in the last line. Hardly even a verse.


I agree it isn’t great. I will keep at it. I probably need to read more haiku before trying to craft more of my own

I attempted to make a natural reference by using the words ‘cold’ and ‘barren’, since for me these elicit the image of winter.

Thanks for the criticism.


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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:51 am 
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The trouble with haiku in English is that they are always a compromise. There are some more or less established guidelines, but for me, as a first step, I keep to 3 'rules ' : 5, 7, 5, reflection on nature and in the third line, a different theme which nevertheless pulls the whole thing together. That last is difficult, but important, in my view.

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 Post subject: Re: Seriously!?
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 7:53 am 
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benhall.1 wrote:
The trouble with haiku in English is that they are always a compromise. There are some more or less established guidelines, but for me, as a first step, I keep to 3 'rules ' : 5, 7, 5, reflection on nature and in the third line, a different theme which nevertheless pulls the whole thing together. That last is difficult, but important, in my view.


(Also, I still feel like apologizing for before. I really was just interested in the history of haikus as a part of C&F.)

I’m still trying to form a picture in my mind of what elements of haiku are stable and which are malleable. As has been mentioned, this seems a little complicated since it is a Japanese verbal art form being made into an English verbal art form (for example it seems like there are different opinions on the required syllables). I had the impression from the article Nano shared that allowing the reader to imagine the scene and being short was more important than being too explicit and having the right syllables.

I suppose I have a question relating to the three ‘rules’ you have suggested for English haiku: 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?


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