Saturday, 15 August 2015

On writing (BAD) Haiku in English

On Writing (BAD) Haiku in English

Some Observations

Based on seeing bad haiku in twitter and elsewhere

1) No it is NOT just a sentence split into 3 lines!
of 3 lines of phrases

2) The middle line is supposed to be longer whether you're using the 5 7 5 pattern or not

try to read a translation of Basho or Issa or Chiyo or Shiki that includes notes and a word for word translation or transliteration of the original kanji and kana into romaji so you can study assonance in the original

4) Japanese Poetry does have "Metre"
based on Syllable count and Assonance and Image
all linked and balanced

5) yes emotions are allowed but don't be too emo or sentimental
Look up wabi sabi !
and if you're writing free form
read Song dynasty Chinese Ci / tzu translations too!
Basho and Issa probably did!

6) American and some other school systems should be banned from setting haiku writing as homework assignments  until after students have mastered basics like assonance and what the difference is between "blank" verse and "free" verse.

7) Please read a good translation of the Hyaku Nin Isshu or Heian Waka.
Then a good anthology of Haiku

Finally will someone please reprint Daniel Buchanan' One Hundred Famous Haiku!

For those who can't get a hold of one

Here's how he translates Basho's most famous Haiku

Into the old pond / A frog suddenly plunges / The sound of water

note how 3 separate things and images are linked
Action Cause Effect

the japanese is literally

 furu ike ya old pond ! / kawazu tobikomu frog leaps / water of sound

it shouldnt work but it does in both japanese and english!

my translation would be

the old temple pond

the frog leaps and dives in

the sound of water

 (temple inserted cos Basho is said to have written this while staying at a buddhist temple)

Please Study and Read haiku before trying to write them in English !

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