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  • Celia Jenkins

NaPoWriMo 2018 Haiku 575 - Day One

Hello, and Happy Easter!

So, according to Wikipedia, a haiku is:

a very short form of Japanese poetry. It is typically characterised by three qualities:

  1. The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru). This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.

  2. Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables (also known as morae though often loosely translated as "syllables"), in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on, respectively. (An alternative form of haiku consists of 11 on in three phrases of 3, 5, and 3 on, respectively.)

  3. A kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but defined list of such terms.

Modern Japanese haiku (現代俳句 gendai-haiku) are increasingly unlikely to follow the tradition of 17 on or to take nature as their subject, but the use of juxtaposition continues to be honoured in both traditional and modern haiku. There is a common, although relatively recent, perception that the images juxtaposed must be directly observed everyday objects or occurrences.

The same as last year, for NaPoWriMo (National Poetry Writing Month) I will be writing haiku. NaPoWriMo aims to inspire poets to write 30 poems in 3 days. As haiku are so brief, I usually write several a day rather than just one. Regarding the traditional/modern styles as mentioned above from Wiki, here are how my haiku roll:

- I almost always stick to syllables, in the 5-7-5 format

- I often stick in a kigo reference (seasonal word), but not always

- I do my best to include the kiru essence, but would argue that this is the most difficult part of writing a haiku

- I occasionally like to use two languages in the one haiku - English and Japanese (written in romaji)

So, that's what I'll be doing this month! As always, the hardest thing isn't finding the time or inspiration to write the haiku, but finding the time to upload them to my blog. However, I shall endeavour. If you like them (or don't like them!) please leave me a comment and share your feedback. I hope you enjoy them.

In honour of NaPoWriMo, I'll also be reading a lot of poetry, of course. I've been dipping into my favourite Carol Ann Duffy, and I have a collection of haiku I'll be re-reading, and I'm currently reading a T. S. Eliot collection about cats :)

Here is today's offering:



waiting for my friend,

her first time to visit me,

April, winter's bite


reading poetry

in the servants' sitting room,

lambs bleat in the field


her sister will come

on Easter Day, come by car,

silver in the draw

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