Understanding the Enigma of Haiku
Blog Posted:7/7/2012 11:06:00 PM
Haiku… plural is Haiku
A haiku deals in sensory perception, or realization. Although fast becoming embroiled in more complicated abstract subject matter, it must be learned as the abc’s are learned. We have to start on a basic level. If we consider only the order, or way it is written as “structure” and the content as form, we can make the following assumptions. Just as a story has an introduction, a plot, and an ending, so does a haiku have a set structure. Structure of a haiku will not change. You have a first part, THEN a second part, always. The first part will be a sensory perception such as an image. The second part will be that same perception carried to a new level of thought, which should be derived from the original. This change or association is often a surprise, in that we may have never thought about this association before, giving us the - - -“AHA---moment. The haiku differs from a story in that the description and the plot are contained in the first part and the conclusion is contained in the second part.
Getting back to structure, there are TWO ALTERNATE FORMS the haiku may be written. The end result usually is not affected by which way we use, but it gives us more flexibility in our range of thought.
The first is to have one line in the first part (line 1) Then two COMBINED lines for the second part (lines 2 and 3) They are combined by a connecting word.
The second is two COMBINED lines for the first part (lines 1 and 2) They are combined by a connecting word. Then one line for the second part (line 3)
It is strictly personal preference as to which of these two ways you use to write your haiku. But beware one pitfall. Do not ever write a haiku where line 1 and line 3 both make sense when combined with line 2. If you do then all three lines will read as one long phrase and the haiku ceases to be haiku. The exact opposite is true if you write NEITHER line 1 or 3 to make sense when combined with line 2, for then you will have three disjointed, separate comments and again it ceases to be haiku.
So no matter which of the forms you use you will still have only a first part and a second part. The first part will give an original thought of some object. The second part will give an expanded thought of the same object, that were the two thoughts placed side by side, you will realize a difference. That difference is the juxtaposition which causes us to be pleased.
Once you master the skill of writing this OBJECTIVE haiku then you may move on to contemporary, or rather, modern haiku. The form and structure will not change. Only the subject matter will change into more subjective or abstract thoughts.