In my spare time I do a bit o' Blogger surfing. Seein' what's up with the blogs I like and then just surfing others in search of learnin' and enlightenment.
And I have noticed that there are quite a few blogs out there that people use to publish their poetry.
No problem. I usually don't read it. I just move on.
But this haiku stuff intrigues me. What is haiku, you ask?
Well, I don't have a good handle on it just yet my own self, so I'll just shamelessly cut and paste the definition of haiku from Wikipedia:
Haiku (俳句, ?) is a mode of Japanese poetry, the late 19th century revision by Masaoka Shiki of the older hokku (発句, hokku?), the opening verse of a linked verse form, haikai no renga. A traditional hokku consists of a pattern of approximately 5, 7, and 5 morae, phonetic units which only partially correspond to the syllables of languages such as English. It also contains a special season word (the kigo) descriptive of the season in which the renga is set. Hokku often combine two (or rarely, three) different elements into a unified sensory impression, with a major grammatical break (kire) usually at the end of either the first five or second seven morae. These elements of the older hokku are considered by many to be essential to haiku as well, although not always included by modern writers of Japanese "free-form haiku" and of non-Japanese haiku. Senryu is a similar poetry form that emphasizes humor and human foibles instead of seasons.
I guess I had to do that to be official, but you'll probably get a better feel of some English language haiku if I put a couple of examples here. These are also in the article on Wikipedia:
an old pond—
the sound of a frog jumping
the first cold shower;
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw.
To which you reply, Huh? Yeah. Me and you both Sista.
But people really get into this stuff. My reasoning is that the type of person who would like this stuff would be a little better educated and cultured than the average joe. And folks who are a little better educated are more likely to be doing their thing on computers and the internet. Thus the prevalence of haiku on the blog scene.
I'm not knocking it, mind you, haiku is just WAY out of the range of experience for this Louisiana public school edumacated boy.
I was looking at some of these and trying to figure out how they could come up with stuff. I understand about the 5, 7, and 5 thing that roughly translates to syllables in English. But this just seems such an unnatural way of speaking.
Again. This is an art form that I haven't really known about so understand I'm just trying to figure this out.
I'm an engineer. I WANT TO KNOW HOW IT WORKS!
So, being a haiku ignoramous, I set out to take this thing apart (like I do with tangible items), look inside, and understand.
I think I have it!
I tried to imagine the state of mind of the person writing them after I read them. And I always came back to the same or similar conclusion.
Try this original haiku, by me, on for size, ok? Though I can't prove this to you, I'm going to write this real-time, right here and now.
The cool pool water,
under my green float helps not,
my skin it's burning
See? I bet you get the picture! You might surmise from the haiku that I fell asleep on a floatie and got sunburned. Not so hard! (I didn't in real life, I just made all of that up.)
I'll try another, again real-time.
Stupid French Poodle,
I thought you were well house trained,
of poop my shoes smell
I'm getting there! I think I have the rhythm down, now I need to add in the season reference spoken of in the Wikipedia article.
Another try, this time with FEELING:
Skeeters bite me much,
why doth summers last so long,
I risk all for pics
Now this last one is a bit of a stretch, because hey, I'm the only one who gets it. See, a week or so ago I went to take some sunset pictures and literally got more bug bites on my legs than at any one time in my life before. I mean so many my family wanted to take pictures. (Yeah, right. I'm a 43 year old male. I don't want pics taken of my face, certainly NOT my legs either.)
So for me this was a haiku with meaning to my real life.
I know, I know! You are dying to know how I mastered such a difficult art form in such a short time, aren't you?
Here's my trick for becoming a haiku master in no time. Ready?
Pretend you are in trouble, bad trouble, and you are determined to get out this one last thought. You are in trouble because, say, you are choking, or you are freezing to death, or any other problem that would prevent you from speaking normally.
Therefore, I imagine I'm freezing to death and someone finds me just before death.
Last person to see me alive: JAM, what happened?
Frozen winter pond,
I can not climb back to life,
me too fat thin ice
And that my friends is what haiku is and how you too can generate them at will.
No, no, no. Really. Your grattitude is nice but unnecessary.
Just making fun here folks. Not trying to step on anyone's toes. I have found a bunch of photography blogs and web sites that I have book marked and visit most of them daily, if not every other day. So if haiku or poetry is your thang, and you can't take a joke, well, sorry.
One of these sites, A Little Piece Of The World, has some unbelievable photography and the lady also writes haikus. For real though. At least check it out and see for yourself, both the amazing photos and try out the haikus. If you dare.