haikaiTALKS Q7

HaikaiTALKS: a saturday gathering_under the banyan tree host: Kala Ramesh

*** Q7 *** ********** Hearty Congratulations, Lorin!

Lakshmi has picked your answer as the best reply to her Q!

Q6 was:

What are your thoughts? Are they just punctuations or do they give a certain weightage to your haiku? Please give your reasons for both yes and no." Lakshmi Iyer Thanks to Kala for sharing her essay on Kireji from the British Haiku Society. Thanks to Shalini, Firdaus and Jayashree for being here. What impressed me was Lorin Ford's detailed explanation with substantial information differentiating and explaining the two terms, 'Punctuation' and 'Cut markers'. Hope this would have helped the poets to get to know about this nuance and the manner in which it creates the space in the haiku. Thanks Lorin Ford for being here on the website and sharing your valid thoughts. Looking forward to more.

Warm Regards

Lakshmi Iyer

** Lorin's answer was: re: "The importance of em-dash and ellipsis. . . . Are they just punctuation . . . ? "

- Lakshmi

When used in haiku, these are not 'punctuation'. We take these punctuation symbols and use them as 'cut markers', symbols to show where the cut in a particular haiku is. In the classic Japanese haiku the cut is shown by a 'kireji', a "cutting word". In English we don't have 'cutting words' . . . well, not formally, anyway. (The Cockney "innit?" and the Queensland "eh!" might be contenders. :-) )

Depending on the grammatical contents of a haiku, such cut markers may or may not enhance the readability of the whole. **

Now for our Q 7 from Lorin Ford:

Dear Kala,

It's harder to think of a question than to answer one! 🙄

Here it is, though, after much humming and ha-ing to myself:


In Japan, before a seasonal reference becomes a kigo (an official season word, recognised as such) the haiku containing it must not only have been published, but it must subsequently appear in a saijiki, a reference book of season words and phrases.

It's often stated that one of the essentials for EL haiku, too, is a kigo, a season word or a seasonal reference, though we may not have access to any such lists that would be relevant to our own geographical climate.

I can only phrase my question in two parts:

a) What is the purpose of kigo and seasonal references?


b) Are kigo or seasonal references essential to contemporary EL haiku?

warm wishes, - Lorin

Lorin Ford

ahundredgourds *****

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