Thank You For Your Haiku Blog
Blog Posted:3/31/2012 12:03:00 AM
Cyndi, thank you for your inspiring blog. Truly it is what Deb Guzzi and I have been saying for months, getting good comments from interested members, by soup mail and many comments. You have expanded what we have been saying, quite a bit and it is time objective and subjective is discussed openly.
Your first definition/description of a haiku is very accurate tho I would say not totally complete—the completeness only coming from the realization that the transfer of the emotions must be true to the original, which is projected by the poem itself.
In regards to your statement that writing the perfect haiku is equivalent to winning a marathon, this is my opinion. It is only my different opinion, to be taken only for what it is worth as an alternate opinion, not that I am right or wrong or you are right or wrong. We all know what is said about opinions. That being said, I feel that because so many persons with little education write stunning haiku, it can not be hard. It just takes work and seasoning to take an idea, driven by an experience, ( 1 )of a person learned in haiku form and purpose, (2) concentration on the final product (3) and a willingness to critique our own masterpiece. # three is a very hard thing to do. We READILY see the mistakes in all other haiku but SELDOM see ours even when they are pointed out. Also while we are on the point of critique, your comment on the haiku failing may could have been interpreted differently. What if the person making the statement meant that the failing was not of the haiku to be a haiku, but rather that it failed to give the aha moment haiku are noted for, or that it failed to express in a way to tell the true story. Perhaps it didn’t fail in BEING a haiku, only in being a GOOD haiku. For myself I would never deny that a true to form haiku IS haiku but I have said they were not good haiku. I have told writers that their poem was not haiku when it only has one part or if it has three parts. Also, if it has no juxtaposition most poets will say it is not haiku. I’m sure there must be a couple of other things I cannot think of at the moment that would make a poem be considered not haiku. Oh, like one continuous sentence through the cut. (Which is different btw from a single line haiku. ) These are self observances and may not be in tune with what others think, although it could be a starting point.
In response to comment to your blog I also would like to give you my perspective on haiku vs. senryu. Some of us are fortunate to be on a face book site where Mr. Michael Dylan Welch is our Sensei or teacher. I totally agree with what Mr. Welch has on his website “Graceguts”. Michael is a world class haiku writer and champion and is presently on the board of directors of the Haiku Society of America. Recently having, his haiku translation scribed on a postage stamp he is a foremost authority of contemporary and traditional or any phase of haiku. The following is what he has to say about the similarities of haiku and senryu:
copy and pasted from his website, Graceguts:
Senryu, more accurately presented in English as senryu, with a macron) is similar to haiku except that it tends to be more satirical or ironic in tone, and does not need to include a season word or two-part structure (although some senryu may still include these elements yet still be considered a senryu). Some people think of haiku as focusing on nature, with senryu focusing on people, but this is misleading. The fact is that many haiku by the Japanese masters also focus on people, so having human content is not a distinguishing factor. Furthermore, haiku is actually a seasonal poem, not strictly a nature poem (many of the kigo that haiku aim at are in fact not nature-related), although nature often comes along for the ride. Instead, it is usually tone that differentiates haiku and senryu. Haiku tend to celebrate their subjects (even if dark), whereas senryu tend to have a “victim,” and may or may not be humorous. Haiku typically treat their subjects reverently, whereas senryu do so irreverently. Haiku try to make a feeling, and senryu try to make a point. And if haiku is a finger pointing to the moon, senryu is a finger poking you in the ribs.