Forms of Poetry - H | Types of Poetry - H
Forms of Poetry -
H. This is a comprehensive resource of poetic forms beginning with the letter
H. We include examples of different types of poetry.
See also Poetry Terms...
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Japanese form, pioneered by the poet Basho, and comprising a section of
prose followed by haiku. They are frequently travelogues - as in Basho's
The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel (1688). In the best examples, the
prose and haiku should work together to create an organic whole.
Importance of Goldfish
In our eyes
and our sleep and our answers to everything and the way we ate our food and
left our personal odors and debris around the house, like strands or clippings
of hair, or a fingernail, or wadded tissue with spit, and seldom coordinated
our clothes or speech or opinions when we went out or had people over, preferring
different books by different authors about different things, and the feelings
we kept to ourselves, harboring them like warts or bleeding punctures, until
now, we grew apart and we knew it, had known it for over four years---since
the day you lost the gold fish down the toilet and never said you were sorry.
You even laughed about it.
"only temporary" ---
about our separation
we agree to lie
(plural: haiku, from archaic Japanese): The term haiku
is a fairly late addition to Japanese poetry. The poet Shiki
coined the term in the nineteenth century from a longer, more
traditional phrase, haikai renga no hokku ("the
introductory lines of light linked verse"). To understand
the haiku's history as a genre,
peruse the vocabulary entries for its predecessors, the hokku
and the haikai renga or renku.
The haiku follows
traditional Japanese haiku consists of three lines.
The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains
seven, and the last line five. In Japanese, the syllables
are further restricted in that each syllable must have three
sound units (sound-components formed of a consonant, a vowel,
and another consonant). The three unit-rule is usually ignored
in English haiku, since English syllables vary in size
much more than in Japanese. Furthermore, in English translation,
this 5/7/5 syllable count is occasionally modified to three
lines containing 6/7/6 syllables respectively, since English
is not as "compact" as Japanese.
The traditional subject-matter is a Zen description of a location,
natural phenomona, wildlife, or a common everyday occurrence.
Insects and seasonal activities are particularly popular topics.
If the subject-matter is something besides a scene from nature,
or if it employs puns, elaborate symbols, or other forms of
"cleverness," the poem is technically a senryu
rather than a haiku. The point was that the imagery
presents a "Zen snapshot" of the universe, setting
aside logic and thought for a flash of intuitive insight.
The haiku seeks to capture the qualities of experiencing
the natural world uncluttered by "ideas." Often
editors will talk about "the haiku moment"--that
split second when we first experience something but before
we begin to think about it. (In many ways, this idea might
be contrasted usefully with the lyric
moment in the English tradition of poetry; see
haiku is always set during a particular season or month
as indicated by a kigo,
or traditional season-word. This brief (and often subtle)
reference to a season or an object or activity associated
with that time of year establishes the predominant mood of
It is striking a feature of the haiku that direct discussion
of the poem's implications is forbidden, and symbolism
or wordplay discouraged in a manner alien to Western poetry.
The poet describes her subject in an unusual manner without
making explicit commentary or explicit moral judgment. To
convey such ideas, the genre often relies upon allusions
to earlier haiku or implies a comparison between the
natural setting and something else. Simplicity is more valued
than "cleverness." Again, if the poet is being clever,
using puns or symbols, the poem again is technically a senryu
rather than a haiku.
poet often presents the material under a nom
de plume rather than using her own name--especially
in older haiku.
the haiku traditionally employ "the technique
of cutting"--i.e., a division in thought between the
earlier and later portions of the poem. (It is comparable
to the volta
of a sonnet).
These two divisions must be able to stand independently from
the other section, but each one must also enrich the reader's
understanding of the other section. In English translation,
this division is often indicated through punctuation marks
such as a dash, colon, semicolon, or ellipsis.
Here is an example of
a haiku by a Western writer, James Kirkup:
the amber dusk
Each island dreams its own night--
The sea swarms with gold.
The following poem serves
as an example very loosely translated from Japanese:
Keshiki wa miezu
Semi no koe
[O cricket, from your cheery cry
No one could ever guess
How quickly you must die.]
This example illustrates the haiku's
lack of authorial commentary or explanation--the desire
merely to present the experience of nature:
The rains of May
The swift Mogami River.]
Many Japanese poets have
used the form, the two acknowledged masters being Bashó
de plume for Matsuo Munefusa, 1644-94); and
Kobayashi Issa (a nom
de plume for Kobayashi Nobuyuki). The Imagist
Movement in 20th century English literature has been
profoundly influenced by haiku. The list of poets who
attempted the haiku or admired the genre includes Ezra
Pound, Amy Lowell, Robert Frost, Conrad Aiken, and W. B. Yeats.
Contrast haiku with the
and the senryu.
See also hokku,
below, and haikai,
above. See also kigo
You can click here to download a PDF handout
summarizing this discussion of haiku, or you can
click here to download PDF samples
An example of classic hokku by Bashô:
an old pond—
the sound of a frog jumping
Another Bashô classic:
the first cold shower;
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw.
Hamd is a poem in praise of Allah. The word "hamd" is derived from the Qur'an, its English translation is "Praise".
A traditional form for English poetry, commonly used for epic and narrative poetry; it refers to poems constructed from a sequence of rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter lines.
A frequently-cited example illustrating the use of heroic couplets is this passage from Cooper's Hill by John Denham, part of his description of the Thames:
- O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
- My great example, as it is my theme!
- Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull,
- Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.
The form name is derived from hybrid and sonnet.
This form is an offspring of a sonnet; that is to say that it must consist of fourteen lines; each line must be octal syllabic, does not necessarily have to be iambic although it can be if desired, and the rhyme scheme can be ABABCDCDEFEFGG, couplet rhyme, or other acceptable schemes, allowing the poet more latitude to work with, and finally, the end rhyme can be a combination of rhymes (masculine, feminine, slant, etc.) or used anyway the poet deems appropriate.
Standing amid the forest trees
I feel so insignificant.
Small and unimportant can be
Very humbling among the plants
And underbrush that are dwarfed by
The regal, deciduous trees.
Quiet is defined by the sigh
Of the wind breathing through the leaves
And serenity thrives beneath
This lushest leaf-green canopy.
I walk along an ancient path
Once tread by aborigines.
Then, out of the blue, the soft wind
Whispered,” you're home again my friend.”