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Haiku, Hokku or Haikai?

Blog Posted:10/16/2013 1:19:00 PM
Dear Soupers:

I have lived and researched in Japan for many years; therefore, I understand their arts and culture perfectly well; as a result, I would like to comment on the Japanese famous traditional poetic form the Haiku.

I believe that one of the most difficult forms of poetry to write is perhaps the Haiku. There is more to this form than just connecting words to make a verse. It goes deeper than that. Some say that the history of Haiku began in the 19 th century but I believed that it can be traced as far back as the 1600 during the Edo period. There is also some confusion between these terms [Haiku, Hokku and Haikai]

Those of you who have explored Asian culture including  Japanese culture know very well that you cannot Americanize some things from those cultures as many elements are connected to some special things such as, different dynasty, period, the empire, a season, an event or even a person. Many things are extremely sacred in those cultures. Reading about something is one thing but experience is another.

Please let me know what are your thoughts on Haiku? Remember it is the most difficult poem to write in English and one should be extremely careful with this form.

Thank you


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  1. Date: 10/19/2013 1:28:00 PM
    Hello, Christine ... "how you doing?" : D I agree with you, haiku, particularly, it's a delicate form of poetry and many Soupers don't treat it fairly. I checked your poems and, curiously, you have no posted poems using these forms. I would love to read one of your haiku. : )

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    Phillips Avatar Christine Phillips Date: 10/20/2013 1:37:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Hi Master Ruben thanks you for your comment. Yes when I have the time, and the season is right and I am in the right environment I will surely adhere to your request. But right now I am just writing what is burning inside and what I am inspired to write. When I have the urgency to write something, I have to be submissive to that burning desire. I move around a lot and I feel, I see and I can sense things from deeper depths. I have to obey and be true to my feelings.
  1. Date: 10/16/2013 1:46:00 PM
    Hi Christine! as a teenager in the seventies, I had the opportunity to visit my Uncle in the sea-port city of Osaka, as he was stationed there for the US Gov't as an "Embassy Attache"( I already knew Walter Mondale from my state, and even had dinner with Walter and my Uncle one night, YES, THERE WAS SUSHI!) parents and my Uncle schemed to give me some culture!... I always visited during the "Tenjin Matsuri Festival" wow, I remember the lights at night! and yes, poetry is more an expression of life in breathing for them....jimbo

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    Phillips Avatar Christine Phillips Date: 10/16/2013 2:11:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    Sashimi (raw fish) is an art, they use a special knife and cut the fish in a special way. If you happen to stand and watch how it is prepared much care and patience are exercised to prepare this dish. The same goes for writing Haiku.
    Phillips Avatar Christine Phillips Date: 10/16/2013 2:01:00 PM Block poet from commenting on your poetry

    It's good to connect. I hope that you speak the language too because I do. Note that some of Sushi here in America is not the same as in Japan. They use a special fish and it has to be cut in a specific way. If you go to a Sushi restaurant and the chef is Japanese be content that you will be getting real Sushi. Likewise, Haiku is very dear to them

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