learning: Haiku in Indian Languages - Marathi

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

HAIKU IN MARATHI editor & translator: Puja Malushte Haiku has its own identity in Marathi literature. Haiku is written giving importance to the soul of haiku which includes the haiku moment, haiku experience and objective description in a few and appropriate words. The 5-7-5 pattern of haiku is not strictly followed in Marathi as in Hindi. In Japan, haiku is traditionally written in a 5-7-5 pattern. The Japanese and Marathi languages are different grammatically and alphabetically. By and large, one notices the following features in the Marathi haiku written, as: • In three lines with minimum words. Brevity is essential. • Colloquial language • Rhyming 1st and 3rd or 2nd and 3rd lines. • Divided in two parts either the 1st and the2nd or the 2nd and 3rd lines. The two parts should be arranged in such a way that the 1st part gets a twist in the 2nd part. Each part enriches the understanding of the other. • Seasonal word or a word that implies the season • Ability to grasp the changes around us with the intense awareness, a kind of openness that involves sight, sound, taste, smell and touch. • Grasping the haiku moment with the collected experience taken from life and nature. Some small verses in four lines are written in Marathi in the form of Charoli, Kanika and Vatratika etc. But these forms are not haiku. Senryū written in Marathi is popularly known as haikusadrush rachana, a composition similar to haiku. Mrs. Shirish Pai, a well known author and poetess is the precursor of the haiku movement in Marathi. She started writing haiku in 1975. She studied Japanese haiku, its origin, changes from tanka to haiku and its nature. She has published five Marathi haiku books. She has also translated some Japanese haiku from English to Marathi. In these books she has given some articles regarding haiku and how to write haiku. These books work as a guide to new haiku writers. She has provided a preface to books of other haiku poets wherein she has outlined features of haiku. Thus, the credit goes to Shrish Pai to bring haiku to Marathi literature. redio kharkhartoy radio disturbance

surel ganehi the melodious song

kanala tras detey harsh on the ears

—Shirish Pai

thoda paus pahila rain—

bakicha gharat rahun a little I saw

divasbhar aikala the rest I heard

—Shirish Pai

atishay thakale exhausted

jithe rasta sampla at the end of road

tuze ghar disale your house

—Puja Malushte shekoti a night fire

dur tithe far away

ub ithe the warmth here

—Dr. Mahesh Keluskar


madhyaratra houn geli tari it’s midnight

mazi vruddha aai and yet, my old mother

vachatech ahe dnanyeshwari reads the dnanyeshwari

—Shri Bal Rane ___________________________________________________________________________ Dnanyeshwari - in Marathi is the translation of the Bhagavat Gita by Sant Dnanyeshwar

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