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haikaiTALKS: a saturday gathering! ONE-LINE haiku

Updated: Mar 23, 2023

haikaiTALKS: ONE-LINE HAIKU - a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree


host: Richa Sharma


4th March, 2023


The World of One-line Haiku


Japanese haiku are monolinear poems, usually printed in a single vertical column. Hence, the practice of writing English haiku in a single horizontal line began many decades ago. The most notable poets have been Janice Bostok, marlene mountain, and Chris Gordon.


Today, one-line haiku along with its modifications is a major alternative to the three-line haiku.


Both monostich and one-line haiku are stand-alone poems containing some complete image or thought. However, there may be some differences between the two. A haiku may contrast two images, whereas a monostich uses a single vivid image or observation.


To understand and explore the evolution of a one-line poem in English-language haiku, I begin with an example of a translation by Hiroaki Sato.


Left on a kitchen table a red flower of a festival


Source


Right under the blue sky, I don't wear a hat: the haiku and prose of Hōsai Ozaki; translated By Hiroaki Sato. Stone Bridge Press, 1993.


Ozaki Hōsai (1885-1926) was a Japanese poet who began writing free-form haiku in a colloquial style, around 1916. His work discovers the mystery of existence in the common and the elusive in life.


Free-verse haiku is a one-line poem free from the seventeen-syllable form in the classical rhythm units of five and seven syllable units that was traditional from the time of Bashō (1644-94). It grew out of the new haiku movement that followed the death of Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902). One of Shiki's successor, Kawahigashi Heikigodō (1873-1937) broke with Shiki's approach and strove toward complexity. Ogiwara Seisensui pushed Heikigodō's efforts further in 1912 and 1913. Hōsai became a follower of Ogiwara Seisensui, and started to contribute to the free-verse magazine Sōun (Stratus) founded by Seisensui in 1911.


Ozaki Hōsai was an unusual poet. He remained torn between the attachment to this world and his rejection of it.


At Shōdo Island, where Hōsai spend the last eight months, he wrote of a sparrow's footsteps:


I know the footsteps of the sparrow walking on the mat


Here, the verb “know” implies “here I am, aware” emphasizing the presence of the poet.


Hiroaki Sato's superb translations preserve the one-line form to maintain the poet's originality of discoveries.


Concluding with a favourite that you might also like:


I release a turtle into noon-deep water


I think we can also begin to observe the smallest thing to create a one-line poem in English.


Sources


1.


Schuster, Anne. Coetzee, Erica. To the Islands – a creative writing workbook. Tiber Tree Press, 2014.


2.


Right under the blue sky, I don't wear a hat: the haiku and prose of Hōsai Ozaki; translated By Hiroaki Sato. Stone Bridge Press, 1993.


Please feel free to share your views and poems. I look forward to this important phase of learning and exploration.


Thank you!


Richa


<> <> <> Thanks a lot, Richa, for agreeing to host this feature. I'm sure all of us are interesting in knowing more about one-line haiku. Yeah! Let the game begin!

505 views167 comments

167 Comments


beach break surfboards pop up from the foam


#1

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Replying to

Thank you, Richa.

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Keiko Izawa
Keiko Izawa
Mar 08, 2023

#2

Mar 8th


thunderclap my cat’s half yawn


Cats are sensitive to noises.

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marilyn ashbaugh
marilyn ashbaugh
Mar 08, 2023
Replying to

Richa,

This raises another discussion question for me: how does a poet decide between one line or two lines? Keiko mentioned timing, so that is one factor. Are there others? I know there are so many questions for future discussions if this might be added for future, thank you!

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#2

7th


stranded bluebottles on the dropping tide budgie smugglers


(Revised again on the 9th. This time with a verb.) Thanks Alan.


a strand of bluebottles on the dropping tide budgie smugglers


Australians and New Zealanders call skimpy male swimwear budgie smugglers. They are worn in swimming races and by life savers. Bluebottles, as Alan has mentioned, are jellyfish with long blue tentacles that give a nasty sting even when on the beach.


(Revised from the original) I grateful to Alan for his expertise and help. I would also like to thank everyone who has commented on this post. This is such a nurturing place to practice and learn.


tide dropping a strand of bluebottles


(I've tried many combinations from…


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Replying to

Thank you Richa. There is just so much to learn here.

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marilyn ashbaugh
marilyn ashbaugh
Mar 06, 2023

2 6/3/23 feedback welcome


tender green brushstrokes smiling mountain

(smiling mountain is a spring kigo)


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marilyn ashbaugh
marilyn ashbaugh
Mar 07, 2023
Replying to

Thank you, Richa! ❤️

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Kala Ramesh
Kala Ramesh
Mar 06, 2023

ANNOUNCEMENT!


https://www.trivenihaikai.in/post/celebration

haikuKATHA Haiku & Haiga SELECTIONS ARE MADE FOR ISSUE 17, MARCH 2023! Check them out. CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE CONTRIBUTORS. _()_

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Richa Sharma
Richa Sharma
Mar 07, 2023
Replying to

Congratulations to all poets!

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