Archive for February, 2013

Brighton Writers

February 26, 2013 - 1:03 pm 9 Comments

Hello everyone, I hope you are enjoying the Haiku experience. There are plenty of examples on the internet for your perusal. From the wonderful Wikipedia comes the following information about this short Japanese poetic form.

Haiku is typically characterised by kiru, or “cutting,” often represented by the juxtaposition of 2 images or ideas, with a kireji, or “cutting word” between them. Wikipedia describes the the kireji as “a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.”

Apparently the Western notion of the traditional Haiku form consisting of 17 syllables is not quite accurate. It consists of 17 on or morae, in three phrases of 5,7,5. Any one of these phrases may end with the kireji. To grasp the idea of this, it is best to read a lot of haiku—both in the traditional form as well as in the more modern, which are freer, and where everyday objects or occurrences are favoured images. The Japanese write their haiku in a single line whereas in English they usually appear in 3 lines, to parallel the 3 phrases.

Basho, Issa and Buson are considered masters of the traditional form. Here are a few examples.

Lightning flash— what I thought were faces are plumes of pampas grass.    BASHO

Everything I touch with tenderness, alas, pricks like a bramble.     ISSA

Light of the moon moves west, flowers’ shadows creep eastward.      BUSON

The crow has flown away: swaying in the evening sun, a leafless tree.      SOSEKI

Notice the uses of the present tense to express these images and ideas. When I came across the following haiku online which has no attribution so I have no way of knowing who wrote it, I felt it was not quite right, though the imagery is pleasing enough.

A cricket disturbed

The sleeping child; on the porch

A man smoked and smiled.

I think it should be written in the present tense to gain more immediacy.  “A cricket disturbs

The sleeping child; on the porch

A man smokes and smiles.”

Not sure if I like the capitalisation at the beginning of each line, either. What do you think?

On other matters. I was fascinated by the Tropfest of small, independent films. Apparently there was an audience of like-minded people in Sydney’s Domain—some 80,000 of them! Did anyone else see it on television? Maybe we should, as a group, write a short film of no more than 10 minutes’ duration and then interest a young filmmaker in the idea of making it. Lilian Harrington is joining the group. She has directed plays in Sandgate and Strathpine and appeared in some short films. She may be able to offer some advice about this project if anyone wants to take it up. Just seeing a couple of shooting scripts would be very useful.

The Sandgate Festival seems to be becoming a reality. More about that when I see you at our next meeting.

Take care of yourselves, my friends. See you in a fortnight