Haiku is probably my most favorite form of poetry to write. I like its spare form and the challenge of putting images together with few words. Last summer, I used Writing and Enjoying Haiku:A Hands-on Guide by Jane Reichhold as a personal book study. In January, I joined the Haiku Society of America in an effort to study the form further and to connect with other haiku poets.
Besides the ability to participate in the member’s anthology, there is a journal, frog Pond, published three times a year. I just submitted five haiku for the anthology. It’s theme this year is “biodiversity”. All entries must include name a specific species (plant or animal) in the haiku. It gave me an opportunity to revise previous work. At this time, I cannot post here as I want the revised work to remain until I find out which one (or ones) are accepted.
Work must also be unpublished including the Internet when submitting to Frog Pond, their journal, published three times a year. Visit their website to see examples. It’s intriguing for me (and a challenge) to break away from the traditional 5-7-5, three-line form. Here is how the HSA defines haiku:
Definition: A haiku is a short poem that uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.
Notes: Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables, with the middle line longest, though today’s poets use a variety of line lengths and arrangements. In Japanese a typical haiku has seventeen “sounds” (on) arranged five, seven, and five. (Some translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about twelve syllables in English approximates the duration of seventeen Japanese on.) Traditional Japanese haiku include a “season word” (kigo), a word or phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the poem, and a “cutting word” (kireji), a sort of spoken punctuation that marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the poem. In English, season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on experience captured in clear images continues. The most common technique is juxtaposing two images or ideas (Japanese rensô). Punctuation, space, a line-break, or a grammatical break may substitute for a cutting word. Most haiku have no titles, and metaphors and similes are commonly avoided. (Haiku do sometimes have brief prefatory notes, usually specifying the setting or similar facts; metaphors and similes in the simple sense of these terms do sometimes occur, but not frequently. A discussion of what might be called “deep metaphor” or symbolism in haiku is beyond the range of a definition. Various kinds of “pseudohaiku” have also arisen in recent years; see the Notes to “senryu”, below, for a brief discussion.)”
I am still puzzling over the one and two lined haiku that appear in the journal. I have much to learn.
So if you are looking to further your skills in writing haiku, I encourage you to visit the Haiku Society of America website. My goal is to write one a day this summer. What are your writing goals for summer?
float above us
white egret flaps wings
CYBILS Announcment: Please hop over to the CYBILS website and read about the need for funds to present the CYBILS winner’s with a very nice award pen. You can either donate directly or go to Cafe Press for some great CYBILS bling.
Poetry Friday is hosted by Two Writing Teachers. I am up early and on the road to my 40th high school reunion.