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Meaning and Form, Again


Blog Posted:7/16/2009 6:45:00 AM
<P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><FONT face=Calibri>Meaning and Form, Again<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" /><o:p></o:p></FONT></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri>&nbsp;</FONT></o:p></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><FONT face=Calibri>I’ve been looking at poetic forms that have the same syllable count, but distribute the syllables differently.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>In my previous blog post I compared the Tetractys (20 syllables: 1-2-3-4-10) to one type of Chinese Quatrain (20 syllables: four lines, five syllables per line).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>Because of several contests here at Poetry Soup, I’ve been looking at Haiku and some of its variations.<o:p></o:p></FONT></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri>&nbsp;</FONT></o:p></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><FONT face=Calibri>The standard Haiku form is 17 syllables, over three lines: 5-7-5.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>Denis Garrison developed two Haiku variations, he refers to them as “analogues”.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>The first is the Cingku (17 syllables, five lines: 2-3-4-6-2).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>The second is the Crystalline (17 syllables, 2 lines, one line of 8 syllables, the other line of 9 syllables).<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>And finally there is the Monoku, a one line form of Haiku.<o:p></o:p></FONT></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri>&nbsp;</FONT></o:p></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><FONT face=Calibri>What I find instructive is how the form shapes the meaning.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>The Cingku has a feeling of cadence at the end, with its 2 syllable closing; in this it resembles the feeling of the Cinquain.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>In contrast, the Crystalline seems to lend itself to a more open-ended ending, one that has the feeling that it could continue.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>The Monoku lends itself easily to highly ambiguous word play and I think that is partially a function of all of it appearing on a single line.<SPAN style="mso-spacerun: yes">&nbsp; </SPAN>And the traditional Haiku has a sense of balance with its two outer lines of the same length; it seems ideally suited to the topic of nature which is its traditional strength.<o:p></o:p></FONT></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri>&nbsp;</FONT></o:p></SPAN></P> <P style="TEXT-ALIGN: justify; MARGIN: 0in 0in 0pt" class=MsoNormal><SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 12pt"><o:p><FONT face=Calibri>&nbsp;</FONT></o:p></SPAN></P> <P>&nbsp;</P>
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  1. Date: 12/29/2009 5:21:00 PM
    I am still looking for your picture and blog.

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  1. Date: 9/2/2009 6:31:00 PM
    Informative, I am new to knowing all the forms of poetry, thank you

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  1. Date: 8/12/2009 4:11:00 PM
    thanks for the information I'm trying to try every form that this site has shown, but i must admit i have more interest in those type poetry(mostly cause I die out in longer poems in my opinion) must definitely give it try these forms you wrote about.

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  1. Date: 7/20/2009 7:14:00 PM
    Some of the writers here have an incredible "rhythm" to their poetry. It moves like a melody. Syllable counts, alliteration and rhyme all help to create this special rhythm. My hat's off to all who succeed in adhering to the rhythmic constraints of the various verse forms you describe, Jim. Very nice observations! Love, Carolyn

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 4:33:00 PM
    Thanks for the informative responses. I recommend "Eight Shades of Blue", a really fine work. Deborah, I have no problem with free verse. I write it myself, now and then. I think, though, that there are lots of American poets who write well in short forms. Emily Dickinson is a good example. I think I mentioned in a previous post Richard Wright, a truly fine haiku writer. And Adelaide Crapsey, who created the Cinquain was also an American. Again, I'm not advocating short form verse or criticizing free verse, but for those of us interested in it such an approach seems to have many virtues. Hi Karen: I have a somewhat different view of modern English haiku. I think English haiku has become stuck in a minimalist esthetic that goes back to the late 50's and early 60's. My personal approach is that I'm willing to add a word or two for the sake of rhythm, form, and flow, even if it doesn't add anything extra in terms of message. Thanks again to all, Jim

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 4:01:00 PM
    Thank you for sharing this interesting analysis. I like forms with syllables, however I've found the 5-7-5 version of haiku sometimes cumbersome. Too often meaningless words are added to get the count right. I have learned a lot from trying different forms. Those that have mastered terse verse have my admiration. I have read some work by Denis too, a truly talented writer. Thanks for sharing this with us. Karen

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 2:30:00 PM
    i did not know this thank you =]

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 2:01:00 PM
    I must say I just do not get it? The world is full of beautiful words, forming lyrical language, and daily technology pushes our youngsters toward abbreviation, texting foreshortening of language, raping of the lyrical line. OK, Japan is a small space, with small people, (HUGE minds) and so lends itself to restrained gestures. BUT, we in America land of the wide open spaces do not have a typical mindset to "foreshorten" anything? We wanted the biggest, loudest, shiniest, prettiest; we want the “est” of everything. I will not get behind this poetic rush to the limiting of language. I can haiku with the best of you but why do? If you 17 syllable me none of them best be..a..the..and..but.....just me. Light & Love

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 8:07:00 AM
    Hi Jim,I was privileged to correspond with Denis a few years back on exactly this topic.His book Eight shades of Blue isbn 978-6151-4798-7 conrains many of his crystallines and the introduction is worth the 12.95US$ price.A very talented and learned poet who first sparked my interest in cinqku,crystalline and monoku.Rgds Brian

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  1. Date: 7/16/2009 8:03:00 AM
    Very interesting "how the form shapes the meaning." Thank you for the enlightenment. Ruben.

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My Past Blog Posts

 
Today is Fibonacci Day!!!
Date Posted: 11/23/2011 2:15:00 PM
Meaning and Form, Again
Date Posted: 7/16/2009 6:45:00 AM
Meaning and Form
Date Posted: 7/10/2009 7:48:00 AM
Poet Ancestors
Date Posted: 7/6/2009 7:03:00 AM
Lanterne Light
Date Posted: 6/23/2009 2:32:00 PM
Renga Request
Date Posted: 5/25/2009 7:50:00 AM
100 Poems and Many Thanks
Date Posted: 4/28/2009 11:43:00 AM

My Recent Poems

Date PostedPoemTitleFormCategories
11/24/2011 Time On Their Hands Haikulife,
11/23/2011 Homage to the Fibonacci Fibonaccifunny,inspirational,
11/16/2011 Aftermath Tankalife,
11/14/2011 Night Walk Haikunature,
11/13/2011 Nightscape Haikulife,
11/13/2011 Sunday Perspective Quatrainintrospection,
11/12/2011 Reminder Quatrainintrospection,
11/11/2011 TGIF Sonnetlife,
11/11/2011 Long Journey Tankalife,
11/10/2011 Safe Harbor Verseinspirational,
11/9/2011 Nightscape Haikumother,
11/9/2011 Sunrise Ethereelove,
8/14/2009 What I Do At Dawn Tetractysfaith
8/12/2009 Beagles Versefunny
8/9/2009 Warm Night Tetractysnature
8/8/2009 Dozing Tetractyslife
8/8/2009 When They Were Young Tetractyslife
8/7/2009 Traffic Light Tetractyslife
8/6/2009 In the Garden Tetractyslife
8/5/2009 Summer Night Quatrainlife
8/4/2009 Puzzled Tetractyswar
7/21/2009 Signs of Love Tetractyslovelove,
7/20/2009 Summer Scene Tetractysnature
7/19/2009 Why I Pray Tetractysfaith
7/18/2009 At the Hospital Haikulife
7/17/2009 Summer Afternoon Tetractyslife
7/16/2009 Destination Tetractyslife
7/15/2009 Ending an Argument Tetractyslife
7/14/2009 The Tea Snob Speaks Tetractysfunnyme,
7/13/2009 Reverie Tetractyslove
7/12/2009 First Day Meeting Tetractysfaith
7/11/2009 Night Vision Tetractyslife
7/10/2009 Closing the Shop at the End of the Day Tetractyslife,work
7/9/2009 Morning Friends Tetractyslife
7/8/2009 Things I Remember About You Tetractyslife
7/7/2009 Nightscape Quatrainlife
7/6/2009 Surprised by Flowers Quatrainlife
7/5/2009 The Policeman in the Cafe Quatrainlife
7/4/2009 Standing by the Ocean Quatrainnature
6/30/2009 Summerscape Haikunature
6/27/2009 Seeing God Everywhere Haikuintrospection,nature
6/26/2009 Interspecies Haikuanimals
6/25/2009 Between Heaven and Earth Haikunature
6/24/2009 The Nature of Love Lanternelove
6/23/2009 January above the Arctic Circle Lanternenature
6/21/2009 For Dad Haikufather
5/30/2009 Nothing's Ever Fully Gone Quatrainintrospection
5/29/2009 Peaceful Passing Verselife
5/28/2009 Morning Moment Haikunature
5/28/2009 Many Voices Verselife
5/27/2009 White Roses Verselife
5/25/2009 The Wanderer Verselife
5/24/2009 Shelter Verselife
5/23/2009 Rainbow Lanternenature
5/22/2009 Songs From The Earth Lanternenature
5/21/2009 How Long Has It Been? Verselife
5/20/2009 As I Close the Shop at the End of the Day Tankawork
5/11/2009 The Effect of Rain Lanternenature
5/2/2009 Exposing a Verbal Strategy Quatrainlife
5/1/2009 A Single Blossom Verselifemorning,power,
4/30/2009 Seascape Quatrainnature
4/29/2009 Ordinary Morning Quatrainlife
4/28/2009 Unintended Verselifeautumn,
4/27/2009 Barriers Lanternelife
4/26/2009 Meander Verselifeold,winter,sound,autu
4/15/2009 Gospel Music Haiku Haikulife
4/14/2009 Simplicity Quatrainlife
4/13/2009 Day and Night Lanternenature
4/12/2009 My Relationship to the Printed Word Lanternelife
4/11/2009 The View From My Window Lanternenature
3/30/2009 After the Concert Verselifeautumn,
3/29/2009 Presence Cinquainfaith
3/28/2009 Tomorrow Verselife
3/27/2009 Apple Blossoms Verselife
3/26/2009 The Old Cat Quatrainanimals
3/25/2009 A Night of Many Dreams Verselife
3/24/2009 The Vastness of Time Sonnetlife
3/23/2009 Stepping Into The Beyond Quatrainintrospection
3/22/2009 Meditation Quatrainintrospection
3/21/2009 Saturday in Spring Quatrainlife
3/20/2009 Limitations Quatrainlife
3/17/2009 When I Visited A Mountain Temple In Korea Quatrainnature
3/16/2009 The Tree Branch Falling Tankalife
3/15/2009 When I Visited A Seriously Ill Friend At The Hospital Quatrainfriendship
3/12/2009 Remembering Winter Quatrainlife
3/11/2009 Sunday Afternoon Quatrainlove
3/10/2009 Legislation Tankanature
3/9/2009 Moments of Wonder Quatrainintrospection
3/4/2009 Found in a Closet Quatrainlost love
3/3/2009 A Friend Who Is Recently Unemployed Spoke To Me The Other Day Tankafriendship
3/3/2009 Gratitude Quatrainlife
3/2/2009 After the Rain Tankanature
3/2/2009 Geology Quatrainnature
3/1/2009 Rural Roads Quatrainnature
2/28/2009 An Old Man's Morning Quatrainlife
2/27/2009 On a Clear Night When the Full Moon Was Very Bright Quatrainlife
2/26/2009 Morning Song Quatrainlife
2/14/2009 The Moon Vanishes Tankaimagination,satire,scienc
2/12/2009 Quince Tankanature
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