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Megatokyo Forums > Story Discussions > Haiku: [0754] - Overnight Sensations


Posted by: AncestralHamster Aug 31 2005, 12:07 PM
[Irish Haiku]

There was a seiyuu with glasses,
Who with phones was slow as molasses,
With her producer's ire,
She thought she'd be fired,
Instead, all expectations she surpasses!

[/Irish Haiku]

[!haiku]

Did I get the meter right this time?

Oh, is there any interest in a discussion of haiku composition, or will that just come across as me being pretentious?

[!haiku]

Posted by: Damion Requiem Aug 31 2005, 03:42 PM
A meager sapling,
After but one moonlit night,
Is a mighty birch.

Although quite clear to the grass,
This bit is news to the the tree.

Posted by: JRandomLurker Aug 31 2005, 05:25 PM
a wire frame and
some bits of glass; fanboys are
so easy to please


[!haiku-- I lubborz the My Neighbor Totoro reference, Damion! happy.gif
Hamster, I hope you'll forgive me for taking the liberty of making a couple of suggestions to improve the flow of your first two lines. And also a syllable-emphasis chart. dry.gif;;; (Which I'm actually really glad I made, as I've wanted a method of expressing syllable count and emphasis for a while now, but have been lacking for an idea how. Hurrah for random experiments.)
CODE
.      V     .   . V  .   .    V    .
There [once] was a seiyuu with glasses,
.   .    V      .    .   V    .  .  V .
Who with phones was [as] slow as molasses,
.    .   V  . .     V
With her producer's ire,
.   V       .     .  V
She thought she'd be fired,
. V      .   . .  V .     .   .  V  .
Instead, all expectations she surpasses!

I can't quite decide where to place the emphasized syllables in the last line, nor on any suggestions for improvement. Sometimes you can speed up the meter for a line, enough to get in three soft beats between hard beats, but it sounds a little awkward. Hope that helps~

Also, if there is pretense to be had, then let us all be pretentious together! In other words, I propose that it is a fine thing to discuss haiku composition. --]

Posted by: AncestralHamster Sep 1 2005, 09:09 AM
The gentle doe speaks
Words much more overwhelming
Than the bull's anger.


[!haiku]
QUOTE (JRandomLurker @ Aug 31 2005, 11:25 PM)
Hamster, I hope you'll forgive me for taking the liberty of making a couple of suggestions to improve the flow of your first two lines.  And also a syllable-emphasis chart. <Snip>  I can't quite decide where to place the emphasized syllables in the last line, nor on any suggestions for improvement.  Sometimes you can speed up the meter for a line, enough to get in three soft beats between hard beats, but it sounds a little awkward.  Hope that helps~

Also, if there is pretense to be had, then let us all be pretentious together!  In other words, I propose that it is a fine thing to discuss haiku composition. --]

Yes. I did ask for a critique of my meter, so it doesn't bother me. Thanks for the response. As for the last line, how's this?

Instead, she's knocked 'em on their asses!

It is a bit faster than my original, but it still strikes me as awkward.

*****

And now, I'd like to discuss the rules of Japanese haiku composition, both where I adhered to them and where I broke them using one of my own haiku as an example.

Cherry blossoms brush
my face softly as they fall.
Ah! How like her kiss!


(This was originally written for a maekuzuke contest at the http://www.ahapoetry.com/, and I eventually used it as the starting maeku in a renga I started in CW. {Edited renga can be found http://www.filespace.org.nyud.net:8090/nom_de_plume/CW_Renga.html.})

First, the rules I obeyed.

1. 3 lines, 5-7-5. Standard practice in this forum, thought not everywhere. 'Nuff said.

2. "Two images, one knowable emotion." The first two lines contain the imagery, the last line, the emotion. The images and emotion can be mixed in any fashion the writer finds effective. In the above, I chose to set the scene with the imagery, and so build to the emotion. Other haiku start the reader in media res and let the reader unravel the initial image/emotion in the next two lines.

3. The use of a kigo (season word). A haiku indicates its season with the kigo, which can be a word or a phrase associated with a specific time of year. In this case, "cherry blossoms" indicates it is late spring (about the second half of March in the northern hemisphere).

The rules that I broke.

1. Use of the first person. A haiku is supposed to be written from the third person point of view, not the first person. In this specific haiku, it wouldn't be too difficult to rewrite the perspective. However, I do think it would lose some of the immediacy of emotion if written from the third person.

2. Haiku is about nature. Since the last line implies romantic love, that makes this a senryu, not a haiku. The natural world is supposed to provide the imagery, and the emotion arises from the reaction of the viewer to that imagery. Human artifacts are only supposed to be upon touched lightly, if at all, and love not at all.

3. This is less a rule and more of a stylistic guideline, but one should use as few adjectives as possible. Thus "softly" in the second line weakens it when considered from a Japanese compositional viewpoint.

4. Again, another stylistic guideline, and not a rule: direct comparisons or similes are discouraged. So my final line, "Ah! How like her kiss!" is not in the accepted Japanese style.

It is difficult to apply these rules of composition to our efforts in this forum. We labor under the problem of having our subject matter pre-selected (i.e. the specific comic), which hampers the choice of imagery and emotion. Similarly, we're composing (usually) in English, and using a verse native to another language, thus it is not a natural fit.

However, one can use the rules as best one can to improve one's verse. The choice of what rules to use or discard is that of the individual. Find what works for you personally, and use those rules. As your skill grows, add more rules to increase the challenge.

Finally, remember that even Basho said, "Learn the rules, then break them." Rules are a starting point, and not an end in themselves. Each person must judge when the rules harm the verse more than help, and then decide what rules to break. Breaking rules creatively is art, breaking them out of laziness is just sloppy work. Be creative.

[!haiku]

Posted by: NekuraEtowaru Sep 1 2005, 06:39 PM
Light defeats darkness
Dew transforms the spider's web
Prey or predator?

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