A cherry blossom-- 5 syllables
the lake placidly reflects 7 syllables
snow on Mt. Fuji 5 syllables
The famous Basho said that haiku only reveal 80 per cent of the sensory perception transmitted from one person to another by the words of a haiku. The reason is to leave something to each reader’s imagination- - - to fill in the blanks, so to speak.
We transmit these feelings by way of sensory words stemming from sight, sound, taste, touch and smell. The old basic haiku stopped with these but more modern haiku also include emotions,
trembling hands ie: 1 and 2 are a complete phrase of one thought.
caught her by the belt -- dashes or 3 dots are to make the reader pause and
cliff's edge reflect, then read the rest as another thought
Any haiku, depending on what you want to say and how you want to present it, may have the pause at end of line 1 or the end of line 2. It depends on how the poet wants to present the surprise or (a more proper term is) THE TURN, OR THE CUT.
IF YOU READ TO THE END OF LINE 1 AND FIND THE CUT, THEN 1 IS THE FRAGMENT, AND 2 PLUS 3 ARE THE PHRASE. THIS GIVES THE POEM TWO PARTS. IT GIVES YOU A SUBJECT AND THEN GIVES YOU SOMETHING COMPARED TO, OR RELATED TO THE SUBJECT TO SHOW IT IN A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT WAY. THE FARTHER YOU CAN SHIFT THIS RELATIONSHIP THE GREATER THE SURPRISE IN THE SECOND PART. iF YOU SAY "A BLUE CAR/A RED BOAT/A GOOD TIME, YOU SIMPLY HAVE THREE SEPARATE PARTS WHICH ARE NOT A HAIKU. ONE OF THE THREE THINGS, THO ALIKE, MUST BE GRAMMATICALLY LINKED TO ONE OF THE OTHER TWO SO THAT THERE WILL ONLY BE TWO PARTS TO THE POEM.
IF YOU READ ALL THE WAY TO THE END OF LINE 2 AND FIND THE CUT MARK, THEN LINE 1 COMBINES WITH LINE 2 FOR THE PHRASE AND LINE 3 IS THE FRAGMENT.)
NOT COMPLICATED, JUST TWO DIFFERENT WAYS TO PRESENT THE MOST IMPORTANT OBVIOUS FACT OF THE POEM)
Line 3 takes you completely away from the subject of lines 1 and 2, but is still related. In other words line 1 and 2 do not really make sense, like “so what” But in concert with line 3 the thought is complete and you see someone (a child?), maybe saved from an accident.
Please note that the first line only has 3 syllables.----- Modern haiku (not haikus) have trimmed the acceptable number of syllables. You no longer have to have 5/7/5. You may now write as few syllables as are “needed” to adequately express and transfer the emotion or perception intended by the poem, yet it must still be readily recognized as haiku. I will not be the one to say that one syllable placed on each of three lines is “not haiku”, but I will venture to say that it is perilously close to being considered “not haiku”. For one thing it seems to lose the authority and form of original haiku. By form I mean the 5/7/5 look. But if a three syallable haiku is you, then be my guest. I am not the judge. I would say a 1/2/1 retains the look of a haiku but not the sincerity nor the feel of one. However, every message is different and after you become proficient enough to KNOW that you know how to write haiku, if you wish to do a 1/2/1 by all means do it. The reader will have the final say if it is or is not good haiku.
My feeling is, it is too hard to retain the serious nature of haiku(not only of content, but form and content) to adequately convey your feelings, ie: emotions, with a 1/2/1. When one speaks of the serious nature of haiku, one doesn’t mean serious as with grave tones. One means serious as in determined to do it correctly. It is true, the tone is of a more profound nature than senryu, but haiku can be light and airy and still be serious about conforming to known norms and “rules”. I prefer the term ”norms” much more because it stems from how the preponderance of haiku writers are forming what is known as the contemporary haiku.
The defining trait of haiku has been and is still considered to be the season word. Without it one has a more valid point that it is no longer haiku but senryu, which is the same form, but taken less seriously than haiku, in consideration of form and/or content. It is usually more on the order of bathroom wall poetry or certainly of a more frivolous nature. I did not include a season word in the second haiku because the subject is pertinent to all seasons.
This is not just for new people on the soup. It is for anyone who does not feel comfortable writing haiku simply because you do not understand it. Please use the guidelines I have in this blog and enter a poem to this blog if you wish. Instead of writing three separate lines you can separate each line with a slash and write it in one continuous line. I’m sure there are plenty of qualified soupers who will give you a SOFT critique on the write.