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Dec 30, Davin rated it really liked it Shelves: An interesting book on haiku framed with bits of memoir. I always assumed there was more to haiku than just counting syllables, but since my exposure was limited to 3rd grade creative writing, I haven't had a whole lot to base this assumption on. The book does a good job of talking about form, structure, history and intent but what is most fascinating about it is her picture of haiku in contemporary life. The author stumbled into a haiku writing group while living in Japan, and the book is as mu An interesting book on haiku framed with bits of memoir.

The author stumbled into a haiku writing group while living in Japan, and the book is as much about the millions of japanese amateur poets who write their own haiku and gather with others share them, as it is about Basho and "cut words". In keeping with the idea that haiku is a people's art and the book ends with tips on how to start your own group. Jan 17, Peter rated it really liked it Shelves: The January Fountain Bookstore bookgroup book.

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Gentle poetic account of an American diplomat learning to write haiku while living in Japan. Nice counterpoint to my other explorations of Japanese culture and media samurai films, manga, etc. Nice moments so far of the Japanese poetic sensibility, and learning the hiaku art of being completely "in the moment" in order to absorb and capture an impression or experience. Jan 21, Azwa Ahmad rated it liked it.

If you're not Japanese or you don't understand Japanese language, then haiku could potentially come as a proxy to inconsequential and inscrutable short poems with meanings that could hardly be deciphered. One could not possibly be able to appreciate the poetic brilliance , exquisiteness and intricacies of haiku without first understanding the language. Japanese language, invariably is the prerequisite of haiku. As such, the depth of renga and its longer form are helpful in contextualising and bringing clarity to the poems. I found that for most haiku poems are without equitable worthiness of its beauty, unless if they are supplemented with annotations or stories that had evoked the creation of the said poems.

They must have thought this child was unable to ride through the stormy weathers of life which run as wild as the rapid river itself, and that he was destined to have a life even shorter than that of the morning dew. The child looked to me as fragile as the flowers of the bush-clover that scatter at the slightest stir of the autumn wind, and it was so pitiful that I gave him what little food I had with me.

Thus, ofttimes we hear the reason of ordinary people retrieving from the hectic of modern lives and dedicating their times to haiku as a form of re-engaging nature to their hollow, soulless lives. Re-engagement brings about a sense of connection not just with one's surroundings, correspondingly with one's sense of being.

Ergo, oft haiku poets would profess that haiku helps to balance their lives, almost as if balancing them between the worldly and the after life, and that delivers peace in not just the poets' lives, as well as the poets' hearts. The remarkable sense of appreciation towards nature shown by the haiku poets is translated in the form of kigo, or seasonal words, one of three fundamental elements of haiku.

In haiku, poets use kigo to evoke the seasonal imageries and feelings associated with the particular season.

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For example, 'cherry blossoms' indicates spring season while 'ducks arriving' is a fall seasonal word. Haiku poets select these kigo from saijiki, or seasonal dictionary and use them to indirectly frame the seasonal context. However, readers who are not familiar with kigo would definitely fail to find the hidden richness in haiku poems, especially to the non-Japanese readers with little to no learning on Japanese language. Interestingly, at the same time, the using of kigo in haiku poems works as a sense of connection or relationship between the present time to the centuries behind.

Haiku poets who use kigo that had been used by other haiku poets millennia before sees this an opportunity to bring the deceased poets' spirits alive in their haiku. As Kuroda Momoko claimed, "Seasonal words unify people, not only in the present but also in the past. That particular word is reserved and sustained throughout changing centuries, bringing its own history and story that people in the distant future could easily relate to.

Haiku does not only assault people's intelligence into fathoming the very essence and technical aptness of constructing haiku, it also challenges one's knowledge reservoir. Again, readers unequipped with the Japanese history, culture and traditions knowledge would be at loss, rendering those haiku senseless, despite its richness that could be captured only by selected few.

Thus it is of utmost important that haiku should be followed by comments and annotations to accommodate curious readers. Yet, regardless of how shallow my understanding and appreciation of and toward haiku, it intrigues me deeply still, of its ability to stimulate eagerness in, perhaps not only me but many others, to extend our understanding beyond haiku. In order to understand haiku well, one must also learn about Japanese language, history, cultures and traditions, dated eons back.

The haiku masters, I deem, to be of excellent learned people: It is the truth that Kuroda Momoko had said, "To learn haiku is to be patient with it.


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Well, I knew it was an advertising jingle, but still, wasn't it an advertising jingle haiku? A chance encounter leads her to a haiku group, where she discovers poetry that anyone can enjoy writing.

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Her teacher and fellow haiku group members instruct her in seasonal flora and fauna, and gradually she learns to describe the world in plain words, becoming one of the millions in Japan who lead a haiku life. This is the author's story of her literary and cultural voyage, and more: A deft and seamless merging of genres: It will appeal not just to poetry lovers, but to all readers who are curious about the world beyond their own borders.

Notable for its frankness and enthusiasm Friedman has made a lively narrative out of the things she learned Read more Read less. Save Extra with 1 offer. Customers who bought this item also bought.


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I have loved all kinds of poetry for most of my life but my favorite poetry forms include the Japanese Haiku, Senryu and Tanka. I have read numerous books on haiku, senryu and tanka over the years; however, this is the first volume I have read on an American who learned to write haiku while living in Japan as a U. I purchased this page soft cover book The Haiku apprentice: