Haiku Day 俳句の日 April 17 2015

Haiku Day!

Brief words make wonder                                                                                                  Like a quick slap in the face!                                                                                  Amazement follows.

Haiku is short, Japanese poetry. The name, Haiku, is derived from the Japanese word, “kiru,” cutting.   “Cut to the chase” might be a modern, North American interpretation of the reason for Haiku.

Traditionally, haiku (originally called “hokku”) is made up of 17 “on” or “morae,” that we might refer to as “syllables” or “beats:” 5 – 7 – 5. Classic Haiku have two images with a “cutting word” in between, hence the “kiru” or cutting reference in the name. Also classic Haiku are seasonal and at least one image of a season appears in it. Everyday images are usually expected for an authentic Haiku.

Frozen waterfall,                                                                                                                    You are not less powerful                                                                                                     Because you are still.

Sometimes contrasting seasons are involved as part of the “cutting” from one image to another.

Spring! You are tender;                                                                                                         So gentle after harsh cold.                                                                                                        Stay long, as Winter!

In Japanese, a picture language, Haiku appear in a straight line, vertically. In English, which, of course, uses an alphabet to spell out the words, the three line format is most often used. Like an English sonnet, the compression of images and ideas makes for heightened meaning and impact.

Write Haiku often…                                                                                                               Your soul makes pictures to see;                                                                                     
Your senses heightened!

Happy Haiku Day! Haiku are a significant part of Poetry month, as poetry is a significant part of our culture’s expressiveness.

Good that Haiku Day                                                                                                                Is on a Friday because                                                                                                         Fridays are too short.