[Dixielandjazz] Re: "police" & rules - was Watch Your Back - was haiku

Don Kirkman donkirk at covad.net
Sat Oct 23 00:38:36 PDT 2004

On Fri, 22 Oct 2004 21:57:10 -0400, Steve barbone wrote:

>Dear Bill:

>You still don't get it do you?


>If I thought you were serious I would respond in song titles with what we
>Americans seem to be saying is Haiku;  Like:

>Sorry. Bill. You are
>So Vain You Probably Think
>This Song Is About You.

>However, please all you haiku experts, note the following:

>One of the greatest exponents of this art form in Japan was Basho (1644-94)

>Three Haiku by Basho

>Waterjar cracks:
>I lie awake
>This icy night.

>Heron's cry
>Stabs the darkness

>Sick on a journey:
>Over parched fields
>Dreams wander on.

>NOW, WHAT WAS THAT ABOUT 17 SYLABLES? IN 5, 7, 5 sequence? The above is
>classical Haiku from the 17th Century. The form referred to is that the poem
>must be rendered in 17 written JAPANESE CHARACTERS. These are not the same
>as syllables. In our barbarian effort to understand, we say syllable,
>however that just proves our ignorance in our attempt to codify an
>unfamiliar art form into something our simple minds can understand. For us
>to compare the American/English written form (words) to Japanese character
>printed form (art) is simply absurd.

Quibble, quibble, quibble.  Actually it IS 17 syllables; if the haiku is
written in the Japanese syllabary it is also 17 characters, but if
written in the Chinese-style characters there's no one-to-one
relationship between characters and syllables.  Fortunately most haiku
are written in the kana syllabary.  :-)

The strict structure applies to all the classical poetic forms in
Japanese, with the number of syllables varying with the type.
donkirk at covad.net

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