Haiku? Seriously?

How many poets does it take to change a light bulb?

Haiku? Seriously?

Postby baardvark » Sun Jul 09, 2017 11:55 pm

Every poetry writer will I'm sure have written the odd one or maybe had a phase of writing them at one time but how many writers here write them on a regular basis (and not just as part of the Haiku chain)? I ask as I have found something I like about the act of writing them - to me, there are more than a few nice things to appreciate them for. TBH I do value a 20, 30, 40, 50, etc line poem more if I've managed to write one but over the last 2-3 months I've been trying to write at least one a day - invariably the last thing I do at night before turning in - it keeps up the act of daily writing and I chose to work within the often used Western Haiku constraints (5-7-5) and working within restraints is, as is so often the case, a not too insurmountable and a provocation to creativity so overall I find it a helpful challenge - re-wording, re-phrasing, re-focussing, re-factoring, etc. What I find enjoyable is the challenge of writing - it's hard enough at the best of times but doing a bit of haiku writing is helping me to get back to enjoying the challenge of writing - I remember reading somewhere that if you want to write you really ought to love it (or learn to) and not complain about it being difficult. The other aspect of haiku writing I've started to appreciate is that I have to reflect each day and more than that, I've been encouraged to be more engaged with what goes on everyday as I'm now constantly primed to be looking for things to write about in my bedtime haiku. Over the past few months I started by thumbing the index of my writing books for advice and info on haiku have been reading a couple of kindle books - "Japanese Haiku - It's Essential Nature and History" (Kenneth Yasuda) and "Basho's Haiku" by Matsuo Basho (translated by David Landis Barnhill) and a real paperback "Writing and Enjoying Haiku"(A Hands-on Guide) by Jane Reichhold. I picked up that you can add 2 lines of 7 syllables (an accompanying verse - called a wakuru) to a haiku if you really feel the need to write more and that a series of these haiku+wakuru's form a "renga" so I have also branched out into writing renga.

Oddly, what started me off was finding a completely unused old diary in a decent quality leather binder - an odd size too - 13cm x 18cm - one page per day, all lined but from 2013 - I didn't want to waste the paper so started writing in it - it seemed to lend itself perfectly to haiku writing.

The Onelook thesaurus page has the facility to find synonyms with a certain number of syllables - I find that useful at times. e.g.
https://www.onelook.com/thesaurus/?s=shadow&f_ns=1
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Re: Haiku? Seriously?

Postby David Smedley » Sat Jul 15, 2017 7:15 pm

I like them, and occasionally try to write one, A book I have read a few times and is very good is, Stepping Stones: A Way into Haiku by Martin Lucas.
Your library may carry a copy, my main library in Sheffield does. David.
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Re: Haiku? Seriously?

Postby baardvark » Sun Jul 16, 2017 11:38 pm

Thanks for the book suggestion - I hadn't seen that one mentioned before.
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