Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Tackle It Tuesday Preview, back to basic

Dear haijin,

As promised ... a new Tackle It Tuesday Preview for next week's prompt/theme.
The upcoming week I love to go 'back to basic'. All the way back to the time of Matsuo Basho (1644-1694} in that time haiku was strict in it's rules. The first rule was the syllable count 5-7-5; second there had to be a kigo (a word that refers to the season);  third  a deeper meaning mostly based on the philosophy of the poet.
Basho was a Buddhist and therefore in his haiku we can find the deeper meaning of life as Buddhism learns.

Buddhist Jakhong Monastery in Lhasa Tibet

When we look at the following haiku by Basho we can see the mentioned rules. Let us take a closer look at this haiku:

morningglories -
in the daytime a lock
upon the gate

Morning Glory

Let us look closer to this haiku:

rule 1: 5-7-5 syllable-count yes that's OK (a "-" can be seen as a syllable)
rule 2: a kigo (or a season-word) yes that's OK (Morning Glory is a kigo for Summer)
rule 3: a deeper meaning yes that's also OK, the meaning of this haiku is that Basho took time for a retreat to think about his life. So he locked the gate of his house. 

The classical haiku has a lot of rules, but the three I mentioned are the most important ones. 

As I learned to write haiku I had always difficulties with these rules, than I discovered the Kanshicho-style, in which Basho wrote his haiku several years. It felt OK when I started to write in this Kanshicho-style and I still continue to write in the Kanshicho-style in which the rules are a bit different according to the syllable-count. The Kanshicho-style is more similar to the Western form of writing haiku in which the syllable-count isn't the most strict rule.

But back to next week's theme 'back to basic'. The classical way of writing haiku is (at least to me) not easy, but it's a challenge ... and that makes it a great way to write haiku.
The above haiku is one of Basho's which I used on my other weblog Basho Revisited. As inspired on that haiku I wrote a new haiku in the classical way.

guarding the fence
around my cottage -
the Honeysuckle

Credits: Honeysuckle

This classical haiku isn't easy to write, but ... well ... take on the challenge and be inspired.

Well ... see you all next week again when this new Tackle It Tuesday 'back to basic' is on ... have fun and maybe it's a bit easier to write a haiku with this given information.

Warm greetings,


1 comment:

Raven said...

Thank you Chevrefuille. I enjoyed this post. I just started writing haiku in February ... doing so at NaHaiWriMo, Michael Dylan Welch's site. I have enjoyed my studies and the discipline of writing one haiku a day. He is of the American school of not applying the syllable count of 5-7-5 as a result of the translation of this count. I try always to use a kigo. And meaning? I do my best. Ha! I started out reading your BAsho blog. I love it.