View Full Version : Haiku ..high culture short poem.

15th Jun 2001, 17:15
Now for some high culture in the short Japanese poetic form called Haiku.

A Haiku is a poem reflecting a particular time and place and emotion especially to do with nature or the natural order. Any search engine will confirm the format for you.

A Haiku is three lines long.
The first line is five syllables long,
The second line is seven syllables long,
The third line is five syllables long.

You are encouraged to contribute to this fine and traditional art. Remember, the 3 lines syllabically are 5/7/5. Here follows a worthy example of a Haiku to inspire you.

"Oz rules all cricket
and ev'ry Pommie loser
next are the Lions."

It really is quite simple. Who's next?

15th Jun 2001, 17:51
only trouble with
Japanese haiku is that
You write one, and then

only seventeen
syllables later you want
to write another


Western Australia
had a little trouble with
Great British Lions...

'cos, sadly it seems
one hundred and sixteen points
beats a measly ten :)

[This message has been edited by HugMonster (edited 15 June 2001).]

15th Jun 2001, 22:43
"high culture" - one way
you ensure Tartan Gannet
won't ever read this!

Breeding Per Dementia Unto Something Jolly Big, Toodle-pip

Capt Homesick
15th Jun 2001, 23:21
Tartan Gannet is
A contributor to PPRuNe
Who posts quite a lot.

<edited for spellung...speling...spelling... something like that>

[This message has been edited by Capt Homesick (edited 15 June 2001).]

15th Jun 2001, 23:33
his volume - you're right,
but his political views
confuse ev'ryone

Send Clowns
16th Jun 2001, 01:24
Rainbow, I'm afraid your haiku doesn't work. Every haiku must have a word connected with the season. Once 'cricket' would have suggested summer and been elegantly sufficient, but ridiculously overextended seasons in all modern sport deny you that.

Ed Winchester
16th Jun 2001, 01:32
Leave Tartan alone,
He is not here at this time,
To defend his name.

16th Jun 2001, 04:09
Haiku V5.6


Shortest poem.

16th Jun 2001, 05:49
Here I sit broken
Hearted, paid a penny and
only fa-ar-ted

16th Jun 2001, 05:55
Howabout this for the shortest poem?


Deep eh!

Of course it could be cut to


And then naturally just


and then a profound statement...


(Just killing time till flood lets me post)

16th Jun 2001, 08:18
Cricket is played well
Except by the Englishmen
Many wickets fall

Say again, Approach....you want us to do what???

16th Jun 2001, 08:23
Play a summer game
Invented by the pommies
Now it has them stumped

Say again, Approach....you want us to do what???

16th Jun 2001, 12:25

Bless you

16th Jun 2001, 16:58
Hug,Capt,Ed,God,Eric,Seperator,& ok u2 Loki, thankyou all. Esp to Send Clowns without whom I would not be credible, haiku wise.

"We winter in Oz,
In Old Dart Ashes are ours,
The Lion, beware."


16th Jun 2001, 17:52
The Lions come here
A winter of discontent
Truly they will find

Say again, Approach....you want us to do what???

Thomas Doubting
17th Jun 2001, 07:17
Now is Haiku season
For further cultural reading
Follow links below



17th Jun 2001, 18:17
To express feelings
In seventeen syllables
Is very diffic.

(Not me, John Cooper Clarke)

Capt Homesick
29th Jul 2001, 19:48
This thread is quite fun
Although it seems a bit sad
Posting now has stopped

29th Jul 2001, 21:24
Captain laments lull
of antipodean wit.
Homeward, Lions slink.

Capt Vegemite
30th Jul 2001, 03:38
The haiku known to English readers is a small, quiet thing. It may or may not (usually not) fall into the Japanese form of seventeen syllables, and how strictly it follows other, less obvious Japanese conventions varies widely among its practitioners. But it almost always presents itself as the distillation of a private moment of observation or revelation, and it is a kind of poetry that for several generations now has been a good fit with modern ideas of the poet as a reflective soul doing the work of poetry in solitude. It also looks like a liberated kind of poetry, free to jump in any direction the mind leads and free of confining rules about rhyme, rhythm, and diction.

But haiku in its original setting negates almost everything that seems to characterize it in its transplanted home. The word itself carries clues: what we call haiku was originally a hokku, the opening verse of a series of "comic" (haikai) linked verse (renga). It stood alone only until a second verse, this time of 14 syllables, was composed as the beginning of a chain of verses of alternating 17- and 14-syllable length, a chain usually of 36 or 100 verses. Each verse contained one or more "links" to the preceding one, by sharing imagery or setting, for instance, or in a punning use of language.

The intended effect was of a series of overlapping 31-syllable poems, each able to stand alone, but still embedded in a tightly-linked chain. Remarkably, such chains were usually written by a group of poets, each following anotherŐs verse with one that not only worked with it to form a single two-part poem but also left openings and suggestions that would allow a third verse to follow on seamlessly.

In its most serious form, the practice of renga linked verse demanded a lot of its poets, including encyclopedic knowledge of classical Japanese poetry and prose and full mastery of a long list of special rules about how links between verses could be made, which images or specific words could be used at certain points in the chain, and so on.

Comic haikai linked verse came into being as a complement to that very difficult art form, first as an amusement (usually accompanied by food and much drink) for serious poets, but later -- when incomes and literacy rates rose in the early 1600s -- as a poetry particularly suited to writers and readers who were not steeped in the classical tradition.

How truly "comic" this poetry was depended on its origin, since by the late seventeenth century, the time of Matsuo Basho, the best known of all its masters, there were many different schools of haikai. Some took haikai every bit as seriously as anyone had taken renga, keeping its comic impulse well under control (if not suppressing it entirely) with an arcane book of rules of composition. Others valued spontaneity and flash.

Ihara Saikaku, for instance, who chronicled seventeenth-century town life in fiction, turned haikai into show business madness in marathon solo compositions of linked verse. He retired from the field undefeated after reciting a chain of over 20,000 verses at such speed his scribe gave up trying to write them down. (Basho is generally described as striking a mean between such extremes.)

So haiku was not necessarily the serious, spiritually significant statement it often seems to be when it is transplanted. Nor was it a poetry of solitary contemplation -- it came into being in a very social, very competitive setting that required both a nimble wit and considerable sensitivity to other people -- your fellow poets who trusted you to give them verses they could work with as your turn passed.

The best haiku verses either in Japanese or in translation have an air of the spontaneous, the fortuitous moment observed, or just the right word popping into consciousness. They seem artless, and that is one reason why the form attracts amateurs. But what has been preserved as the best of the genre is ironically quite different, because the modern free-standing haiku divorced from the practice of linked verse is a direct descendant of the hokku opening verses of haikai sequences, and the hokku was the one verse in the chain that was most determined by rules, setting, and circumstance.

By the rules, it had to refer to the season when the poets were gathered, it should make some note, however oblique, of the occasion for the gathering and of the physical location, and (like all verses in the series) include a haigon, a word that in one way or another was "non-standard," either slangy, earthier than the usual poetic language, or even just a Chinese loan word. This long list of requirements came on top of the formal requirements (syllable count among them) and the need for a congenial openness to the verse that must follow.

Above all, haiku was a social poetry. It shares that characteristic in particular with other, less known kinds of poetry of the Edo period, among them senryu, a truly comic development out of the supposedly comic haiku and kyoka, "mad verse," a comic mutant version of the old 31-syllable tanka that generated a complicated web of clubs and factions in Edo late in the 1700s.

No matter the genre of poetry, the poet of the Edo period as popularly conceived was no withdrawn scribbler but a familiar, sociable figure practicing his art in public.

Trust this helps you serious haiku artists out there!


30th Jul 2001, 05:52
How about some Jewish haiku?

Yenta, shmeer, gevalt.
Shlmiel, shlimazl, tochis.
Oy! To be fluent!

Today, mild shvitzing.
Tomorrow, so hot you'll plotz.
Five-day forecast - feh!

Capt Vegemite
30th Jul 2001, 09:14
And some good old aussie haiku

Buggah me dead
Fair suck of the sav
Bastard ran last

1st Aug 2001, 00:33

Bless you

Tricky Woo
1st Aug 2001, 01:27
What the f**k is this?
Haiku is for Japanese,
Not for Westerners.

TW (Copyright. 2001)

Capt Vegemite
1st Aug 2001, 02:12
Sushi in summer,
In my Datsun I smell,
The raw prawn.


Tricky Woo
1st Aug 2001, 03:05
F**k f**k f**k f**ker,
**** **** ****, tit tit tit, knob,
Your round, you bastard.

TW (copyright. 2001)

Arm out the window
1st Aug 2001, 07:02
So much fine beauty
We are oh so cultural
I must scratch my arse

1st Aug 2001, 15:55
You smile at me now
across the space between us
an ancient message

1st Aug 2001, 17:00
I got a real one in my mail at work today!

The boss had forgotten the code on his voicemail (again)

A code is needed
It has been flashing all week,
I have no code.

(Just like Loki's "ancient message!)

Capt Vegemite
3rd Aug 2001, 03:19
Computer Haiku anyone?

Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

3rd Aug 2001, 08:00
Someone once sent me a whole bunch of Haiku equivalents for Windoh!s errors. I didn't save it but remember a couple.

Your file was so large
It must have been quite useful
But now it is gone

Yesterday it worked
Today it is not running
Windows is like that

(Edited to say I found the list: http://members.aol.com/BECoopper/haiku.htm )

[ 03 August 2001: Message edited by: PaperTiger ]

Capt Vegemite
3rd Aug 2001, 21:27
A file that big?
It might be very useful.
But now it is gone.
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist
Chaos reigns within.
Reflect, repent, and reboot.
Order shall return.
ABORTED effort:
Close all that you have.
You ask way too much.
First snow, then silence.
This thousand dollar screen dies
so beautifully.
With searching comes loss
and the presence of absence:
"My Report" not found.
The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
Windows NT crashed.
I am the Blue Screen of Death.
No one hears your screams.
Stay the patient course
Of little worth is your ire
The network is down
A crash reduces
your expensive computer
to a simple stone.
Yesterday it worked
Today it is not working
Windows is like that
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.
You step in the stream,
but the water has moved on.
This page is not here.
Out of memory.
We wish to hold the whole sky,
But we never will.
Having been erased,
The document you're seeking
Must now be retyped.
Rather than a beep
Or a rude error message,
These words: "File not found."
Serious error.
All shortcuts have disappeared.
Screen. Mind. Both are blank.



8th Aug 2001, 19:40
Phone on my desk rings,

but silence as I reach out,

back to my keyboard!


8th Aug 2001, 22:33
Talk but of cricket
and women wilt like blossoms
in summer's bright sun

Arm out the window
9th Aug 2001, 05:53
hideous odour
coming from my underpants
what a great curry

9th Aug 2001, 08:50
A good summer game
Not played well by Englishmen
Ashes to ashes

9th Aug 2001, 13:15
On my way to work
Heston services needed
Too late, shat my pants. :eek:

10th Aug 2001, 04:28
"A Haiku is just like an ordinary American poem, except it doesn't rhyme and is totally stupud"