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Haiku Poems


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Haiku is Japanese Poems known as Hokku in Japan. It consists of 5-17 syllables and also popular in Europe.

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Haiku Poems

  1. 1. Haiku Poems
  2. 2.  Haiku (俳句 haikai verse is a very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:  The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru).[1] This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them,[a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colors the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.  Traditional haiku consist of 17 on (also known as morae), in three phrases of 5, 7 and 5 on respectively.  A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.  Modern Japanese haiku (現代俳句 gendai-haiku?) are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 on or to take nature as their subject, but the use of juxtaposition continues to be honored in both traditional and modern haiku. There is a common, although relatively recent, perception that the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences.  In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku.  Previously called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.
  3. 3.  Syllables or on in haiku  In comparison to English verse typically characterized by syllabic meter, Japanese verse counts sound units known as "on" or morae. Traditional haiku consist of 17 on, in three phrases of five, seven and five on respectively. Among contemporary poems teikei (定型 fixed form) haiku continue to use the 5-7-5 pattern while jiyuritsu (自由律 free form) haiku do not.One of the examples below illustrates that traditional haiku masters were not always constrained by the 5-7-5 pattern.  Although the word "on" is sometimes translated as "syllable," one on is counted for a short syllable, two for an elongated vowel, diphthong, or doubled consonant, and one for an "n" at the end of a syllable. Thus, the word "haibun," though counted as two syllables in English, is counted as four on in Japanese (ha-i-bu-n); and the word "on" itself, which English- speakers would view as a single syllable, comprises two on: the short vowel o and the moraic nasal n̩ . This is illustrated by the Issa haiku below, which contains 17 on but only 15 syllables. Conversely, some sounds, such as "kyo" (きょ) can be perceived as two syllables in English but are a single on in Japanese.  The word onji (音字; "sound symbol") is sometimes used in referring to Japanese sound units in English although this word is no longer current in Japanese.[citation needed] In Japanese, each on corresponds to a kana character (or sometimes digraph) and hence ji (or "character") is also sometimes used as the count unit.  In 1973, the Haiku Society of America noted that the norm for writers of haiku in English was to use 17 syllables, but they also noted a trend toward shorter haiku.  Some translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about 12 syllables in English approximate the duration of 17 Japanese on.
  4. 4.  A haiku traditionally contains a kigo, a defined word or phrase that symbolizes or implies the season of the poem, which is drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such words.  Kigo are often in the form of metonyms and can be difficult for those who lack Japanese cultural references to spot.The Bashō examples belowinclude "kawazu", "frog" implying spring, and "shigure", a rain shower in late autumn or early winter. Kigo are not always included in non- Japanese haiku or by modern writers of Japanese "free-form" haiku.
  5. 5.  In Japanese haiku a kireji, or cutting word, typically appears at the end of one of the verse's three phrases. A kireji fills a role somewhat analogous to a caesura in classical western poetry or to a volta in sonnets. Depending on which cutting word is chosen, and its position within the verse, it may briefly cut the stream of thought, suggesting a parallel between the preceding and following phrases, or it may provide a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure.  The fundamental aesthetic quality of both hokku and haiku is that it is internally sufficient, independent of context, and will bear consideration as a complete work.The kireji lends the verse structural support,allowing it to stand as an independent poem.[12][13] The use of kireji distinguishes haiku and hokku from second and subsequent verses of renku which, although they may employ semantic and syntactic disjuncture, even to the point of occasionally end-stopping a phrase with a shōjoshi (少女詩 sentence ending particle), do not generally employ kireji.  In English, since kireji have no direct equivalent, poets sometimes use punctuation such as a dash or ellipsis, or an implied break to create a juxtaposition intended to prompt the reader to reflect on the relationship between the two parts.  The kireji in the Bashō examples "old pond" and "the wind of Mt Fuji" are both "ya" (や). Neither the remaining Bashō example nor the Issa example contain a kireji although they do both balance a fragment in the first five on against a phrase in the remaining 12 on (it may not be apparent from the English translation of the Issa that the first five on mean "Edo's rain").
  6. 6.  The best-known Japanese haiku is Bashō's "old pond":  古池や蛙飛び込む水の音ふるいけやかわずとびこむみずのおと (transliterated into 17 hiragana)furuike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto (transliterated into romaji)This separates into on as:  fu-ru-i-ke ya (5)ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7)mi-zu no o-to (5)Translated:  old pond . . .a frog leaps inwater’s soundAn alternate translation, which preserves the syllable counts in English at the cost of taking greater liberty with the sense:  at the age old ponda frog leaps into watera deep resonanceAnother haiku by Bashō:  初しぐれ猿も小蓑をほしげ也はつしぐれさるもこみのをほしげなりhatsu shigure saru mo komino wo hoshige nari[1This separates into on as:  ha-tsu shi-gu-re (5)sa-ru mo ko-mi-no wo (7)ho-shi-ge na-ri (5)  Translated:  the first cold showereven the monkey seems to wanta little coat of strawThis haiku by Bashō illustrates that he was not always constrained to a 5-7-5 on pattern. It contains 18 on in the pattern 6-7-5 ("ō" or "お う" is treated as two on.)  富士の風や扇にのせて江戸土産ふじのかぜやおうぎにのせてえどみやげfuji no kaze ya ōgi ni nosete Edo miyage This separates into "on" as:  fu-ji no ka-ze ya (6)o-o-gi ni no-se-te (7)e-do mi-ya-ge (5)Translated:  the wind of Mt. FujiI've brought on my fan!a gift from EdoThis haiku by Issa illustrates that 17 Japanese on do not always equate to 17 English syllables ("nan" counts as two on and "nonda" as three.)  江戸の雨何石呑んだ時鳥えどのあめなんごくのんだほととぎすedo no ame nan goku nonda hototogisuThis separates into "on" as,  e-do no a-me (5)na-n go-ku no-n-da (7)ho-to-to-gi-su (5)Translated:  how many gallons of Edo's rain did you drink? cuckoo
  7. 7.  From renga to renku to haiku  Main articles: Renga and Renku  Hokku is the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or renga, and of its later derivative, renku (or haikai no renga). By the time of Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), the hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (a combination of prose and hokku), and haiga (a combination of painting with hokku). In the late 19th century, Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) renamed the standalone hokku to haiku.The latter term is now generally applied retrospectively to all hokku appearing independently of renku or renga, irrespective of when they were written, and the use of the term hokku to describe a standalone poem is considered obsolete.  Bashō  Main articles: Matsuo Bashō and Hokku  In the 17th century, two masters arose who elevated haikai and gave it a new popularity. They were Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) and Ueshima Onitsura (ja) (1661–1738). Hokku is the first verse of the collaborative haikai or renku, but its position as the opening verse made it the most important, setting the tone for the whole composition. Even though hokkuhad sometimes appeared individually, they were always understood in the context of renku. The Bashō school promoted standalone hokku by including many in their anthologies, thus giving birth to what is now called "haiku". Bashō also used his hokku as torque points within his short prose sketches and longer travel diaries. This sub-genre ofhaikai is known as haibun. His best-known work, Oku no Hosomichi, or Narrow Roads to the Interior, is counted as one of the classics of Japanese literature and has been translated into English extensively.  Bashō was deified by both the imperial government and Shinto religious headquarters one hundred years after his death because he raised the haikai genre from a playful game of wit to sublime poetry. He continues to be revered as a saint of poetry in Japan, and is the one name from classical Japanese literature that is familiar throughout the world.  Buson  Main article: Yosa Buson  Grave of Yosa Buson  The next famous style of haikai to arise was that of Yosa Buson (1716–1783) and others such as Kitō, called the Tenmei style after the Tenmei Era(1781–1789) in which it was created.  Buson is recognized as one of the greatest masters of haiga (an art form where painting is combined with haiku or haikai prose). His affection for painting can be seen in the painterly style of his haiku.  Issa  Main article: Kobayashi Issa  No new popular style followed Buson. However, a very individualistic, and at the same time humanistic, approach to writing haiku was demonstrated by the poet Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827), whose miserable childhood, poverty, sad life, and devotion to the Pure Land sect of Buddhism are evident in his poetry. Issa made the genre immediately accessible to wider audiences.
  8. 8.  Haiku movement in the West  The earliest westerner known to have written haiku was the Dutchman Hendrik Doeff (1764–1837), who was the Dutch commissioner in the Dejima trading post in Nagasaki, during the first years of the 19th century.[One of his haiku:  inazuma no kaina wo karan kusamakuralend me your arms, fast as thunderbolts, for a pillow on my journey.Although there were further attempts outside Japan to imitate the "hokku" in the early 20th century, there was little understanding of its principles.[Early Western scholars such as Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850–1935) and William George Aston were mostly dismissive of hokku's poetic value. One of the first advocates of English-language hokku was the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi. In "A Proposal to American Poets," published in the Reader magazine in February 1904, Noguchi gave a brief outline of the hokku and some of his own English efforts, ending with the exhortation, "Pray, you try Japanese Hokku, my American poets!" At about the same time the poet Sadakichi Hartmann was publishing original English-language hokku, as well as other Japanese forms in both English and French.  In France, haiku was introduced by Paul-Louis Couchoud around 1906. Couchoud's articles were read by early Imagist theoretician F. S. Flint, who passed on Couchoud's (somewhat idiosyncratic) ideas to other members of the proto-Imagist Poets' Club such as Ezra Pound. Amy Lowell made a trip to London to meet Pound and find out about haiku. She returned to the United States where she worked to interest others in this "new" form. Haiku subsequently had a considerable influence on Imagists in the 1910s, notably Pound's "In a Station of the Metro" of 1913, but, notwithstanding several efforts by Yone Noguchi to explain "the hokku spirit," there was as yet little understanding of the form and its history
  9. 9.  Worldwide  In the early 21st century, there is a thriving community of haiku poets worldwide, mainly communicating through national and regional societies and journals in Japan, in the English-speaking countries (including India), in Northern Europe (mainly Sweden, Germany, France, Belgium and the Netherlands), in central and southeast Europe (mainlyCroatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bulgaria, Poland and R omania), and in Russia. Haiku journals published in southeast Europe include Letni časi (Slovenia), Vrabac (Croatia), Haiku Novine (Serbia), and Albatros (Romania)
  10. 10.  Famous writers  Pre-Shiki period  Arakida Moritake (1473–1549)  Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694)  Nozawa Bonchō (c. 1640–1714)  Takarai Kikaku (1661–1707)  Ueshima Onitsura (ja) (1661–1738)  Yokoi Yayū (1702–1783)  Fukuda Chiyo-ni (1703–1775)  Yosa Buson (1716–1783)  Ryokan Taigu (1758-1831)  Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827)  Shiki and later  Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902)  Kawahigashi Hekigotō (ja) (1873–1937)  Takahama Kyoshi (1874–1959)  Samukawa Sokotsu (1875–1954)  Taneda Santōka (1882–1940)  Ozaki Kōyō (1882–1926)  Ogiwara Seisensui (1884–1976)  Natsume Sōseki (1867–1916)  Ryunosuke Akutagawa (1892–1927)