Writing Haiku

 

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Recently I’ve been attempting to write a bit of poetry. So with this in mind, and the sense that Spring is maybe on its way at long last, I thought I’d find out a bit about the essence of Haiku.

I wondered if I could Haiku, maybe you could too!

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry. It consists of three lines. Line one has 5 syllables, line two has seven syllables, and line three has five syllables. The subject is usually about nature or the seasons. This poetry does not need to rhyme.

 Matsuo Basho

Here are  examples of the haiku of  Matuso Basho , the first great poet of haiku in the 1600s:

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Autumn moonlight—

a worm digs silently

into the chestnut.

 

Lightning flash—

what I thought were faces

are plumes of pampas grass.

 

Yosa Buson

Haiku of Yosa Buson from the late 1700s.

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A summer river being crossed

how pleasing

with sandals in my hands!

 

Light of the moon

Moves west, flowers’ shadows

Creep eastward.

 

In the moonlight,

The color and scent of the wisteria

Seems far away.

 

Kobayaski Issa

Here are three haiku from Kobayashi Issa, a haiku master poet from the late 1700s and early 1800s:

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Trusting the Buddha, good and bad,

I bid farewell

To the departing year.

 

Everything I touch

with tenderness, alas,

pricks like a bramble.

 

 

Natsume Soseki

Natsume Soseki lived from 1867 – 1916.  He was a novelist and master of the haiku. Here are a couple of examples of his poems:

Over the wintry

forest, winds howl in  rage

with no leaves to blow.

 

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My favourite season is the summer, here are some summer words to get you in the mood for a little Haiku sunshine.

Summer:

sun, sparkles, leaves, blue, insects, sunflower, breeze, dance, sky, birds, shimmer, trees, grass, butterfly, hot, summer, smile, beach, sand, dream, sea, ice-cream, soft, sunbeams, long days, pollen, bees, ice, picnic, lake, park, cricket, sun-cream, yellow, play, hope.

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Quotes and Proverbs

Summertime an’ the livin’ is easy. Ira Gershwin.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net forever. – Jacques Cousteau.

There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shore line, no matter how many times it is sent away. – Sarah Kay.

Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer. – Jenny Han.

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.”
Henry James

“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness.”
John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America    

“My old grandmother always used to say, Summer friends will melt away like summer snows, but winter friends are friends forever.”
George R.R. Martin, A Feast for Crows    

“Summer will end soon enough, and childhood as well.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones    

In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer. Albert Camus.

A life without love is like a year without summer – Proverb.

The winter will ask what we did all summer. – Proverb.

 

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Let’s not neglect the other seasons. They give us a wonderful sense of contrast, Anthony Horowitz said this so succinctly in this wonderful quote:

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolour, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all. – Anthony Horowitz.

Winter:

sun, dying, sleet, grey, river, twilight, magic, turkey, wind, sleigh, white, sky, robin, sparkle, trres, grass, darker, wolf, winter, coat, falling snow, frozen, dream, village, mountains, hard, beauty, cold, gentle, old, Christmas, crisp, clouds, woods, December, icy winds, sleep, tree, candle, twinkle, ski, fire.

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Quotes and Proverbs.

One kind word can warm three winter months – Japanese Proverb.

What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. – John Steinbeck.

Winter is in my head, but eternal spring is in my heart – Victor Hugo.

One a lone winter evening, when the frost has wrought the silence. – John Keats.

If we had no winter the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome. – Anne Bradstreet.

In the midst of winter I find within me the invisible summer. – Leo Tolstoy.

Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home. – Edith Sitwell.

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Spring:

april, bee, basket, bunny, baseball, bird, bloom, butterfly, caterpillar, chick, cloud, daffodil, dig, earth, egg, easter, flower, fog, grass, garden, grow, hatch, insect, kite, leaf, lilac, ladybird, March, May, June, nest, picnic, plant, pansy, puddle, rainbow, raincoat, rainy, roots, season, seed, shovel, shower, soil, spring, spring cleaning, sprout, stem, storm, sunshine, thaw, tulip, umbrella, violet, warm, water, weed, wind, worm.

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Quotes and Proverbs.

Spring: nature’s way of saying Let’s Party! – Robin Williams.

In the spring at the end of the day you should smell like dirt – Margaret Atwood.

April comes like an idiot, babbling and strewing flowers. – Edna St. Vincent Millay

The World is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful – E.E. Cummings

April hath put a spirit of youth in everything – William Shakespeare.

Spring is like when you feel like whistling even with a shoe full of slush – Doug Larson

An optimist is the human personification of Spring – Susan J Bissonnette.

No matter how long the winter, spring is sure to follow. Proverb.

 

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Autumn:

acorn, apple, autumnal equinox, bale of hay, bonfire, chestnuts, chilly, cider, cobweb, cool, corn, cornucopia, cranberry, crisp, deciduous, fall, falling leaves, feast, football, Halloween, harvest, harvest moon, hay, hayride, haystack, leaf, leaves, maize, October, melancholy, November, Nuts, Persimmon, Pine cone, Pumpkin, Pumpkin pie, raincoat, rake, reap, Scarecrow, season, September, Sleet, spider, spider’s web, squash, Thanksgiving, Turkey, web.

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Quotes:

Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. – Albert Camus.

Autumn wins you best by this, its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay. – Robert Browning.

Autumn carries more gold within its hand than all the other seasons. –  Jim Bishop.

Fiery colours begin their yearly  conquest of the hills, propelled by the autumn winds. Fall is the artist. – Takayuki Ikkaku.

 

 

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Links:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matsuo_Bash%C5%8D

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kobayashi_Issa

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natsume_S%C5%8Dseki

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yosa_Buson

 

 

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