When I started THE DAILY HAIKU I began with a glancing understanding of haiku as a short three line poem constructed with a guideline of 5/7/5 syllables. It offered an understandable, accessible and engaging format which could be supported by the addition of photographs/video or artwork to enhance the creative writing process.
However as the group grew discussions around haiku emerged, Patrick Osada pointing out helpfully that much of what we were writing was Senryu – a three line Japanese poetic form that highlights human nature and emotions, often with an ironic and comedic edge.
Haiku traditionally is a Japanese poem of 3 lines that reflects images of the natural world, written in the present tense, avoids using personal pronouns, focuses on simple language and is generally shorter than the 5/7/5 syllable guideline as the Japanese equivalent an onji is a more concise sound so poems tend to be below the overall 17 syllable in total and can be short enough to say in one breath. Also a haiku is usually in two parts where the third line often provides a ‘turn’ or juxtaposition to consolidate resonance.
Much can be learnt from the famous haiku writers and many such examples have formed our bi-weekend thread by Sebastien Revon offering a valuable context for those wanting to delve deeper into haiku whilst sparking wider conversations. Another suggestion was to start a renga on a Friday night which has developed into a sequential series of haiku created from one starting point, which allows a group of people to dip in and out of haiku writing collectively and individually often in a very sociable and fun way. Our record is currently 795 comments – we also ran a 24 hour renga on National Poetry Day.
Again with such an engaging community another request, initially sparked by John Lanyon, was for a more considered renga which we run mid-week which limits posts to hourly intervals that respond to the same first line which we vote on, encouraging slower creative process to emerge which can reveal a deeper engagement.
Keen to offer more ways to engage another variation was introduced, the Haiga, the combination of image and poetry, something that brought two key elements of the group together. Every other weekend images for haiga are voted on and posted for members to respond to either by writing individual haiku without image or incorporating the image and a haiku or finding another image inspired by the initial image.
What has become clear is that haiku and the many other related variations and forms can offer a liberating and diverse form of expression that can allow anyone to engage in writing. And this is exactly what has happened in the group where many enjoy writing haiku using the helpful guideline of 5/7/5 with or without images and others explore more traditional forms – we embrace it all, continue developing new ideas and this has helped us grow into a community of those new to writing, others returning to writing and experienced writers including those knowledgeable in haiku.
The most important element is that everyone is encouraged, supported and nurtured.
Find first 12 Famous Haiku file in FILES on www.facebook.com/groups/THEDAILYHAIKU/
HOW TO WRITE HAIKU: https://writingcooperative.com/how-to-write-haiku-fa5fe7792661
Do please post your own thoughts on haiku and any helpful resources.