• Conga Line of Advertisements.

A Poetic Look At: Haiku

Kaleidoscope

(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

So…why haiku this time?

Because they are popular, and I love them. Additionally, they are an interesting example of how other languages handle and organize sounds and words into poetry. In English, we use meter. Other languages do not use meter, or do not use it as English does.

But I know about haiku.

That’s great! It helps to build on something that we already know when trying to learn new things.

Okay, so…how do haiku work?

(I know I was taught a fair bit about haiku as a child, but I am going to talk as if you all don’t know many of these things. Therefore no one will be lost or confused.)

Haiku is a Japanese poetic form. Haiku have a single stanza of three lines. Line one is five syllables, line two is seven syllables, line three is five syllables again. This is what most people are taught.

In researching this, I discovered that haiku don’t have three lines when written in Japanese. They have only one; the three lines in English-language haiku point back to the three phrases that haiku have in Japanese.

Syllables, Morae and On

Japanese syllables are not syllables, but on (or morae). Japanese on are all the same length. Stress is more or less the same across all on. Since Japanese is a tonal language, you may hear high-tone on as stress. (Japanese has two tones. The other is low-tone.)

Haiku were once referred to as hokku. They grew out of renku (hokku is still the name for the first verse of a renku poem), and were viewed in that context for a time. In order to truly separate haiku from renku, Masaoka Shiki, a haiku author, suggested the name of haiku (an abbreviation of haikai no ku).

You told me that every poetic form has a recipe. What’s the recipe this time?

On (which we already talked about), a kigo, and the idea of kireji.

Continue reading

A Poetic Look At: Poetic Forms

Kaleidoscope

(c) 2013 Windy Johansen

So what’s a poetic form?

A recipe of sorts. One like sugar cookies. Rad, sweet, sugar cookies. (That was my sweet tooth talking, sorry. :) ) It takes several ingredients, mixed in a certain way, giving you an expected result, but with room for variation.

Sounds fine, but what’s wrong with formless poetry?

Not one thing. I write in a style that doesn’t seem to fit a form. It seems like it fits free verse the most, but I don’t know for sure.

But it’s fun to know how to work in new forms. You can enjoy both an old friend and get to love a new one. No one was talking about replacing anything. I’d be sad if you did!

That’s okay, then. What are the parts of the recipe?

Structurally speaking: words, meter, line, and stanzas. (There’s also the idea of half-lines, but they’re not something I’ve heard too much about. We’ll probably talk about them in the midst of a form that makes use of them.)

Stylistically speaking: mood, subject, and degree of repetition. Repetition doesn’t have to be bad, by the way. It can make a given idea stick better, or it can really annoy the socks off people.

We’ll talk about structures today. Stylistic things are really best talked about in the context of a given form. (Repetition is the special one that will get its own post.)

*hands out cookies* (It seems like a good time to share those. :) )

(Cookie) Center of the Matter

Words – Eggs/Flavorings

They’re …well, what you’re reading here. Not too bad so far. They can carry quite a lot in themselves, without any intentional meter. A big plate of eggs, with a bit of salt and pepper is nice. But we wanted cookies, so on to the other ingredients.

Continue reading

A message about a change in purpose.

The poem I posted last Wednesday will be the last one for a while. I figure it’s more helpful to you if I help you flex your own writing muscles. Also, I’d love a reason to learn more about poetry than I currently know, and I know that teaching is the best way to do that.

I don’t quite know where I’ll go after talking about poetic forms, but I’m sure I’ll be led one way or another. If you like, you may suggest new poetic forms that I haven’t covered.

I am also working on writing prompts. Those will be able to be used in any writing context.

<3

Adventures on Sunday morning.

I’ve been working to get this site going, and now I can’t see my blog’s homepage as the homepage.

O______o;;

Oh dear. I’m still working on this, so maybe it will sort itself out.

In other news, I’m writing lots of poetry. I want to make a book of my best poems and my best photography, but it’s so hard to get the courage to do that.

Back to playing with WordPress to get it to give me the right homepage. >_< Have fun! ETA: I actually got the homepage to display correctly by getting rid of the little homepage I wrote a couple of days ago. It looked like it walked right out of 2000 or something, but I wrote all the code for it! LOL Oh one of these days, I will have more of my site coded by me, myself, and I. but for right now, I'm letting more knowledge-filled people handle that.

A first, but at the end of the month.

So I’ve been working on this thing for most of the day. and it’s here now. I’m going to paste a few links in, because I won’t be digging into this until tomorrow, and I want you all to be able to talk to me, even if things aren’t what I need them to be yet. So.

I’m glad you’ve come by, even if everything’s still full of sawdust, so to speak.

Like me on Facebook. (I’ve got jewelry photos here.)
Follow me on Pinterest.
Tweet at me on Twitter.
Email me here.

 

"Lightning Wheel" (c) 18 January 2010, Windy Johansen

“Lightning Wheel” (c) 18 January 2010, Windy Johansen

Again, thanks for stopping by! :D