haikaiTALKS Q5

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

*** Q5 *** **********

haikaiTALKS: a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree

host: Kala Ramesh

Hearty Congratulations, Firdaus Parvez!

Jayashree Maniyil has picked your answer as her best!


Is English Language Haiku a completely new form, or, is it still anchored in the roots of the original Japanese hokku/haiku?

— Jayashree Maniyil

Read what Jayashree says:

Hi Kala

I have gone through all the replies. It has been a great few days of activity on this post. Lots of well thought and expressed views.

I quite liked Mike's explanation using a rolling plastic ball. And readily agreed to Ashish's thought on ELH being inspired by Japanese hokku/haiku because we can never write like the Japanese original (whatever that may have been), and understand the original intent from a Japanese perspective and express this in another language, as we lose some of it in translation. Also, we don't live life like the way Japanese do. Keeping all these in mind, I choose Firdaus's reply as my pick for the week. I don't mean to disregard rest of the replies. They are all valid, each adding to my understanding, and for this I am truly grateful for everyone's participation. Once again I'd like to say thanks to Mike for passing the baton to me.

Firdaus's reply:

Q 4: The English language Haiku is an emerging new form of poetry with its roots anchored in the original Japanese Hokku/haiku.

I would probably define it as such. I believe language to be the soul of any form of literature. The culture and language of a region determines the way of its writings. To replicate that form in another language is not just impossible but futile. No two languages have the same vocabulary or grammar/syntax (unless of course their culture overlaps). For example when I read English language ghazals (however beautiful they may be) I find them missing something (that’s because I can understand the language they’re meant to be written in Farsi/Urdu ) So they become something new yet anchored in the roots of a different culture’s poetry. There’s nothing wrong in adapting a form to fit in with our culture and language as long as the essence and culture of that form is respected. Even Bashō dabbled with haiku. Poetry should keep evolving with time. Just my thoughts.

Now, over to Firdaus's Q5:

Thanks Kala. Here’s my question.

Thank you so much Jayashree for choosing my answer from amongst all those wonderful answers, I was really surprised.

We all have our styles and methods of writing haiku. It’s a personal thing. I’ve categorised haiku into three broad types (there might be more)

A haiku written in the moment. Which for me is extremely rare or if ever.

A haiku written from a moment experienced this morning or a month ago. Or memories from childhood. We know them as desk haiku. But we have experienced these moments personally.

A haiku moment that we’ve never personally experienced but we know it’s a possibility. This is a fiction haiku. I’m assuming you’ve written all three.

Now my question is : Are fiction haiku moving away from the whole purpose of writing haiku; that is capturing a moment. I’d love to read your take on this.

¬¬¬¬¬¬¬¬ Members of Triveni Haikai India - the ball is in your court! _kala

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