Kaeru receives his first lesson from Master Kawazu and learns the rules of English haiku.
A haiku is a short poem from Japan that describes, in only three lines, what's happening at a certain time and a certain place.
Most traditional Japanese haiku are written in a pattern of 5-7-5 syllables, but when you write haiku in English you don't have to count syllables.
Instead, you should try to write your haiku following a "short-long-short" pattern, meaning: the first line is short, the second line is longer, and the third line is short. Example:
line 1 is short
line 2 is much longer
line 3 is short
One breath poetry
Haiku is often called "one breath poetry" because the whole poem is so short that it can be said in one breath.
Traditional Japanese haiku is written in a strict 5-7-5 syllables pattern but since the number of syllables doesn't matter as much in English haiku, your haiku should simply follow a "short-long-short" pattern where the line in the middle is the longest.
Most haiku will contain a word indicating the season where the haiku takes place. This season word is called a kigo. This doesn't mean you have to name the season as in "autumn evening" or "summer rain". Certain words will evocke a particular season. For example, the word "pumpkin" implies the haiku is taking place in autumn, "snowflakes" means it's winter. so you can set the season in your poem by using a single word.
A good haiku will feature a juxtaposition of two images. The kireji is a traditional Japanese cutting word that was placed after the first image before moving on to the next. In English this pause or "cutting word" (kireji) is often indicated by a hyphen.
The juxtaposition of two images are the key to creating an element of surprise (the ah-ah! moment) that is the essence of haiku. A good haiku helps us see the world in a different view.
Take a walk to the park. Observe the nature around you. What is happening now? Is there a dog running in the park? What color is he? What is he doing? Is he barking? Why? What do you see, feel, taste, hear, feel? Write it down.
Remember: A haiku is a short poem that describes, in only three lines, what's happening at a certain time and a certain place (Basho).
*Use very few words
*Write in the present tense
* Try to keep a "short-long-short" pattern
* Don't count syllables
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