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

Steve barbone barbonestreet at earthlink.net
Sat Oct 23 06:35:57 PDT 2004

on 10/22/04 11:58 PM, Bill Gunter at jazzboard at hotmail.com wrote:

> Hi Steve (and Haiku lovers) . . .
> Aha, we meet again . . .
> You say:
>> You still don't get it do you?
> What's to get?

Ah Bill, you cannot possibly be that dense, can you? Or is it that you too
are unable to admit mistakes. ;-) VBG (subtle inside humor)

The original post from Phil O'Rourke was not about "Haiku". You then "butt"
in and try to make it about Haiku. You then ignore the simple fact that you
are totally in error about the original post and now about Haiku.

About your rant on 5,7,5 and rules for Haiku (The side issue which you
created). Remember I warned all to thoroughly research this subject. You
obviously did not understand why. OK here's why.

Everything you claim in your post about Haiku & rules is superficial and
wrong. You mistakenly assume the website to read is the one with the Basho
quotes. WRONG AGAIN. Dig a little deeper than the first site that pops up on
a google search. Here is the web site with the  most knowledgeable
discussion of Haiku. Spend at least 2 hours on it to LEARN. (It has a wealth
of Haiku information)


Suggest you first click on some of the "How To" notes.

Then realize that:

1) The 5,7,5 meter which you so wrong-headedly cling to is NOT a hard/fast
rule as you claim. In fact, neither is a 3 line poem. Some lines/meters are
3,4,3 and/or 9,8 and/or just about what ever the writer wishes it to be.

2) The 7 limit, which you erroneously claim for the second line, is exceeded
frequently. Many haiku poems exceed the 7, just like mine did, and many stay
under it. 

3) The first rule of Haiku, Basho 17th Century, is "learn the rules and then
forget them" because there are so many rules that one cannot adhere to them
all since following one would break another. Check the website, you'll find
that "rule" there. You must choose which rules you personally will follow
and others will choose which ones they will follow.

4) Plus, translating the form into English is difficult because 17 English
syllables convey so much more meaning than the equivalent number of Japanese
characters. Therefore English Haiku is much more suited to meter's smaller
than 5,7,5. Plus the syllable rule is "up to 17", so anything smaller is
quite proper if the 'substance" conditions are met. Following are some

1. Seventeen syllables in one line.

2. Seventeen syllables written in three lines.

3. Seventeen syllables written in three lines divided into 5-7-5.

4. Seventeen syllables written in a vertical (flush left or centered) line.

5. Less than 17 syllables written in three lines as short-long-short.


Then here are some others.

1. In English, 2,3,2 or 3,4,3 is more suitable. (makes it more of a

2. "Classic" Haiku is two lines, like 12,5 or 9,8 or 10,7 etc.


Once again, my advice to you? EXPAND YOUR MIND. THOROUGHLY investigate the
subject matter before reaching conclusions. You get in much less trouble
that way. Do not rush to form a conclusion out of ignorance of the subject
matter and then seek to justify it regardless of the facts.

I do agree with you that the claptrap pseudo Haiku that you and I write, is
not the "real" thing. What is the "real form/substance"? Suggest you go to
that website above and spend a day or two figuring it out before you post
lengthy examples of trash poetry that are not haiku and an effort to baffle
us with BS. 

Nobody so far on the list has written anything but a poor imitation of
Haiku. All adhering to one type of form, but the substance is not there.

Musical Content? Not too different from garage bands that think they are
made up of jazz musicians. Or audiences who hear imitation jazz musicians
and think they are listening to the real thing. :-) VBG.

Steve Barbone

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