When people hear my haiku they sometimes think that I have cheated, that I have used more than seventeen syllables. This is because of the use of rhythm, rhyme and alliteration which makes the poem seem longer than it actually. Haiku 136 she soft tongue kissed my thirsty skin quiet as a breastfed baby's breath After a few years of developing my writing technique i felt I was well on the road to using haiku as text, but I still had to figure out how. I don't remember when the answer came. It was probably when I heard a musical selection that reminded me of an Art Ensemble of Chicago concert which i experienced in Atlanta. The aec performed one number entirely on large bamboo flutes with shimmering gongs in the background.
Haiku poem Examples And Definition - family Friend poems
Finally, it occurred to me that the whole process was one of transformation. So, i wrote this haiku. Haiku 112 (for Mandela) emerging from jail their dragon/our butterfly his smile is so huge some of the haiku are written in the african proverb mama say" aphoristic form and have nothing to do with the traditional haiku use of nature images. Here is an example which i use to explain my non-Christian approach to spirituality: haiku 58 black people believe in god, i believe in black people. Many people believe that poetry is based on inspiration, but for poets who work in the griot tradition, poetry-particularly praise poetry -is often commissioned by a patron, community group, or other agency. This was the case with sixteen haiku i wrote for Essence magazine which choose essay to print six of the group of wide ranging haiku. Because i was writing without knowing specifically what was to be in the section, i decided to write widely varying styles and on a diversity of New dog Orleans related subject matter. Here are two from that group. The first is strictly a romantic, nature piece that suggests partying in the French quarter and the second also uses a nature image to capture the spirit of people in New Orleans. Quarter moon Rise soft moon shimmers out of cloudy dress, stirred by night's suggestive caress The Spice Of Life cayenne in our blood we dance, eat, laugh, cry love with peppered passion The final example is a recent erotic haiku.
Here i completely rephrase the second (or a line but i keep the same basic image night moans" "arms of hurt" and "grip my literature waist" "snake round. Haiku 48 night moans grip my waist the arms of hurt snake round me, i feel like a frog This next piece has a rather involved origin. The basic line is taken from ho chi minh who wrote "when the prison doors fly open / the dragons fly out" referring to political prisoners. I had learned that ho chi minh lived for a brief time in Harlem and had been influenced by marcus Garvey. When Nelson Mandela was released from prison I wanted to capture the feel of that. Mandela step into the sunlight what immediately struck me was the beauty of his smile. Also, malcolm x and george jackson approached prison as a school. I had read about imprisoned anc militants also approaching captivity as a school. Thus prison is alluded to as a cocoon.
I wanted to capture the feel of separation. I use rhyme gone/flown/song/sung" are all half rhymes and rhythm (the middle line sets up an interesting swing with the use of the "s" sound repeated five times within seven syllables as well as image. The image alone would have been sufficient, but the rhyme and rhythm emphasis add the afrocentric. In this selection the last word, "harmony" which is three syllables long contrasts quite unharmoniously with all the preceding words which are either one or two syllables long; in other words, it breaks the unity that had been set. The irony was that it is the word harmony which breaks the rhythmic unity of the poem. Haiku 123 love gone is bird year flown sad sunset song tartly sung without harmony haiku 48 is what I call a literature "perfect" haiku, meaning it has exactly seventeen one-syllable words. Here is an example of using blues imagery. This haiku is a direct variation on the blues line "fattening frogs for snakes." I personify the night, the quality of hurt, and then use a simile to make complete the reference to the blues line. It is also a blues in the classic a/a b structure, which is say a line, repeat the line with a variation, and then respond to or comment on the line with a third line.
Additionally, each line opens with two words, the first word is one syllable and the second word is two syllables, which is also a reinforcement of the three feel, but it's a three within the first two counts of the larger three. The complementary expression is: the male enters, the female receives and thereby the two merge into one. Also, the dialectic of body and soul, flesh and spirit are indicated by using the church image, hence the body, which is flesh, is presented as sacred, and so forth. The next example is a haiku which leans heavily on the use of the long "ssss" sound and on its complement, the long "ffff" sound, both of which contrast with the short and abrupt "but" and "eye." Notice, even though "but" and "eye" fall. My experimentation has been to go beyond what the poem means and also dig deeply into how the poem sounds. Most haiku do not focus on the sounding element precisely because most haiku don't use a black aesthetic. Haiku 88 the pheasant flies but beauty's feathered sheen still shines in the seer's eye here is a more ambitious piece. I wanted to write about sadness, the breaking up of one into two separate pieces.
The haiku handbook -25th Anniversary Edition: How to Write
The proverb-based haiku 100 builds itself on the use of irony and makes no use of imagery and no specific use of sound devices. However, the majority of my haiku consciously employ sounding. In addition to the aforementioned use of rhyme and rhythm, i used alliteration as a main device for achieving a black sound in my written haiku. I wanted to reach for the syncretic creolization of an afrocentric oral/aural ethos mated to eurocentric literary emphasis on text. Such a synthesis is a hallmark of African disaporan art. This meant bringing together concepts that were not usually thought of as part of a whole. Beneath all of that i also wanted to maintain a complementary feminine/masculine referencing in contradistinction to the eurocentric privileging of patriarchy.
Here is an example which incorporates many elements of a black aesthetic. Haiku 79 i enter your church, you receive my offerings, our screaming choirs merge first, from the standpoint of rhythm-which incidentally is not usually a component of haiku-this poem is written in threes, my variation on the three/four musical rhythm common in gospel music. Thus the emphasis is one-two-three. The "three" is an open beat, meaning I could recite it one-two-three or Usually, i recite it rubato, without any particular rhythmic emphasis, but i keep the three feel in mind so that the words are emphasized like this: i en-ter your church you re-ceive. Unfortunately, there is nothing on the page that can tell you how i am resume using rhythm except that I have set the poem up with the emphatic words at the beginning of each line.
When I rewrote the haiku, the first thing I did was remove the similies as and dropped the cognitive reflective i think. The poem is thereby made more direct. I also decided to introduce another concept: one suffers a lonely existence while the other party engages in a productive relationship. Finally, i wanted to emphasize the dry/sky rhyme. Thus, i wrote: haiku 107b your rain wets other fields, my parched earth cracks, breaks, dry beneath cloudless sky, haiku 107 is an example of using nature and seasonal imagery (which is another aspect of traditional Japanese haiku). However, i also deal with the Afro-centric tradition of proverbs, mother wit and "mama say." Such poems may or may not employ the use of nature imagery such as illustrated by these two haiku.
The first employs a blues based imagery and the second is just straight up african proverb in structure. Haiku 1 there's no night so long that we can not ride through / to taste tomorrow's dawn, haiku 1 is built on a repetitive opening rhythm no night so long and closing rhythm tomorrow's dawn which is emphasized by the half-rhyme of long/dawn. The bridge employs the "t" sound through to taste. Additionally the sounding of the bridge section overlaps the closing rhythm and helps to stress the final word of the haiku, so that the closure sounds natural as though this is where the poem is supposed to end. Thus i attempted to achieve a musical flow. Haiku 100 what we know limits us, wisdom loves everything not yet understood.
Haiku of Kobayashi Issa
In less than five years I wrote over a hundred haiku-i have since slowed down the production of haiku because i father's am consciously concentrating on other poetic forms and other genres of writing. As I perfected my techniques, i would go back and rewrite earlier haiku. I moved away from similes and went straight into metaphors and personifications. I also began incorporating some of traditional haiku techniques such as using images of the natural gender world as an extension of the human self. One haiku in particular illustrates the deepening development of my technique. This is a poem which started out as a simple expression of longing and the loneliness of separation. The poetic motif was the use of the rain/earth image except that I switched the normal associations and made the rain the female element and the earth the male element. This switch is not apparent unless the reader knows i am a male or unless myself or another male orates the haiku. The first published version of the poem is: haiku 107, i think of you as rain and i as dry earth cracked beneath cloudless sky.
I was not interested in learning the japanese tradition. I wanted to write haiku that not only thematically addressed the Black experience, but, also and more importantly, structurally exemplified a black handwriting aesthetic. For me this was more than simply a technical question of how to write haiku on paper, it was also a question of how to perform haiku. I would not consider myself successful until I had figured out how to recite haiku with the same force and intensity as I did my blues and jazz based poetry. This was a left brain/right brain problem. I needed a creative approach for the performance and a technical approach for the writing. I stored it away and let my subconscious work on the performance part. The writing part was easy once i specifically identified the literary theoretical precepts I wanted to use.
me less, since the mid-80s I have written over 150 haiku and have had dozens of them published, most notably the erotic haiku in Erotique. The April 1995 issue of Essence magazine also published six haiku in a feature on New Orleans. People who know of my proclivity to use blues and jazz forms and influences in my writing sometimes express surprise that i use the haiku form. I'm African American; we'll use any and everything in our own way and make art out. Since joining the Free southern Theatre in 1968, i have been an active proponent of the Black Arts and have constantly attempted to develop a theory and practice of a black aesthetic in my writing. In haiku, i knew I wanted to deal with at least three different elements: rhythm, rhyme and raw sound - plus, the haiku needed to carry the weight of irony. Of course, i did not expect each poem to contain every element but I was striving to have each poem manifest at least one of those properties. I did not study any traditional haiku nor read any books on writing haiku.
At that time i was totally under the influence of Langston Hughes, so while i admired the Wright haiku, night i felt no impulse to emulate the form or the tone of what Wright wrote. Many years later in preparation for a major article of literary criticism, i had in-depth conversations with Sonia sanchez about writing. She told me about writing haiku when she couldn't write anything else because of time or other constraints. Sanchez pointed out that writing haiku helped hone her poetic skills, especially in choosing words and streamlining her writing, moreover, haiku were short, pithy, very specific, and once you finished one, you had a feeling of accomplishment. But haiku was not yet in my blood even though I thought i understood what Sanchez was saying. Then I went through a divorce. In retrospect, i realize now that I stayed as busy as I could as a defense mechanism to deal with the pain I was feeling.
Literary terms and Definitions h - carson-Newman College
Books by kalamu ya salaam, the magic of juju: An Appreciation of the Black Arts movement / 360: a revolution of Black poets. Everywhere Is Someplace Else: a literary Anthology from a bend in the river: 100 New Orleans poets. Our Music Is no accident what Is Life: Reclaiming the Black Blues Self. My story my song (CD), on Writing haiku, by kalamu ya salaam. Haiku is a japanese poetry form which structurally consists of three lines and a total of 17 syllables (five on the first and third lines, and seven on the second line). There are other variations of form and other structural aspects to haiku writing, but those are the elements I choose to use. Two writers directly influenced me to write haiku: Richard Wright and Sonia sanchez. While still in junior high school literature in the late fifties I read Wright's wonderful haiku about the little boy standing in the snow holding out his hand until it turned white.