Does it bother you when people call any short poem a haiku?
As a haiku poet, does it bother you when people write a short poem, usually one that follows a 5-7-5 syllable pattern, and call it a haiku? Don't you wish people would learn what haiku is? I love the form, but I'm usually let down by what passes as haiku. Do you think there is a way to teach poets what haiku really is rather than the misinformation that is spread about syllable count? What would it take for people to learn the true meaning of haiku, as defined by the Haiku Society of America, for example?
So many questions within your question. It doesn't bother me (in answer to your opening question). If I understand what a Haiku is, and if I see that the writer has 'relaxed' the form I am not going to judge, although I may note (to myself) that it does not appear to be 'correct', perhaps the poem will have enough artistry to stand as is. Perhaps the writer is bending the 'rules' for some reason. Since it is not written in Japanese, how am I to know? Or judge? Your Hubs on Haiku are helpful and well written by the way. Meanwhile, I applaude any writer who attempts to write poetry in this extremely compressed language. It is very difficult, and although not always successful, a good writing excercise for the author, and hopefully an interesting experience for the reader. If the poem published as a Haiku is not correctly written I guess you could make a comment pointing out where it falls short. I tend to respond to the images and mood presented, and trust that the writer is sincere in his or her efforts in interpreting the form.
It's hard to say. Snakeslane brings up some valid points, and if I thought writers here were writing in Haiku type style and pushing the boundaries, I might applaud it. But frankly there is so much bad poetry on this site, I think the reality is that few know the definition of haiku.
There is also some really good poetry on this site (and some very knowlegeable writers).
Absolutely, I did not mean to indicate that every poem here is substandard. Quite honestly, there are many well-written hubs (poems articles etc. here) but there are also many poorly written hubs.
I know I just spelled knowledgeable wrong, oops. I've just seen so much criticism of poetry on Hub Pages. I'm a little over sensitive about it.
Yes, absolutely there are all levels of poets here. I didn't take duffsmom's comment to imply that there is no good poetry here, but I'm glad that's been cleared up explicitly. The best thing about Hubpages is the ability to share and discuss.
And of course poetry is really subjective. When I first read William Carlos Williams, "A Red Wheelbarrow," I thought "what?" It took me some time to appreciate that little gem.
Yes, it bothers me very much. I believe words should be spelled correctly, English used properly and if someone is going to call themselves a writer, they should be familiar with grammar, spelling, punctuation and forms of poetry to name a few.
We all make mistakes but writing should be a learning process, and we should want to learn to do it properly.
Thanks for this question. I don't mind anyone attempting haiku. I don't mind anyone attempting a sonnet or any form of poem. The poet writes, the reader judges. Simple.
I would say that the true meaning of haiku is open - it becomes an individual's right to own that meaning. If I write haiku and share them, they are still my precious creations, even if technically poor. Judging the quality is up to the reader. You dislike many haiku on HubPages - that's fine.
I read the book On Love and Barley which has many haiku by Basho and was inspired to attempt my own haiku! I try and stick to the 5-7-5 principle but in thebook it states that Basho himself sometimes broke this rule and wrote haiku with different syllable counts!! So. It seems that haiku are evolving (in English at least). For me personally I love the philosophical haiku relating to Nature.
I read somewhere that the stuff produced by Basho wasn't haiku. That he was a progenerator of haiku, in the same way that Turner is considered a progenerator of Impressionism.
Many serious haiku poets realize the syllable count is wrong. The 5-7-5 syllable count was taken from the 5-7-5 Japanese "on" sounds of traditional haiku which is more like 12 syllables in English.
Matsuo Kisaku (Basho)- 1644-94 - is recognised as the first great haiku poet according to Lucien Stryk, translator of On Love and Barley. Basho took haiku to another level, Nature being his theme.
No, that some people don't know the difference between a haiku and a short poem is no cause for me to worry.
First, I would be happy that...
a) the writer knows the word 'haiku',
b) knows that it's a form of poetry, and
c) understands that it's a short form.
After that, I'd gently state that the poem, while having many wonderful qualities, doesn't technically fit into the category of 'haiku'.
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