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


9 Responses to “Brighton Writers”

  1. Adele Moy Says:

    March 3rd, 2013 at 6:07 pm
    Thanks for all the wonderful info Cheryl, have dabbled a little in haiku – I think that is probably sacrilege – you really shouldn’t just ‘dabble’ in haiku – looking forward to next meeting – Hereunder some of my efforts.


    Sunmmer-tight roses
    circle her bridal bouquet
    full-blown by winter
    sweet-sugared coffee
    on a fragrant night
    velvet-dark desire
    my elder sister
    crying in naked-moonlight
    blood on the doona

    beating summer rain
    a steamy wetland tango
    the earth is dancing

  2. Cheryl Jorgensen Says:

    Hi Adele,
    Thank you for your lovely images. I particularly like the first haiku as the contrast between “summer-tight” and “full-blown” adds another layer of meaning, suggesting a development in the married couple’s relationship. That which is unsaid but implied is often more powerful, isn’t it?
    Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

  3. Cheryl Jorgensen Says:

    Please feel free, Brighton Writers, or anyone else who would like to contribute a haiku or two. . .My own humble effort occurred to me as I was crossing the parkland by the Einbunpin Lagoon on Friday afternoon. A flock of raucous, quarrelsome cockatoos shrieked and screeched above my head making such a ruckus I had to laugh at their forthrightness. Hard to believe, but some people actually dislike them. I adore them, and thanked the darlings for their noisy inspiration.

    Afternoon cacophony
    cockatoo chorus
    precedes deadening silence.

    Till tomorrow,

  4. Kate Brice Says:

    Hi have just found an fun urban myth – dogs taken by birds. Some bloke reckons he saw a small dog [starts with Ch] – can’t spell it – taken by a pelican! Heard it on b105 this afternoon – thought I’d pass it on [lol] …cheers Kate

  5. Kim Says:

    Hi Cheryl, thanks for today. The link to the Ted Talk as promised – Cheers Kim

  6. Cheryl Jorgensen Says:

    Pretty sure I meant “deafening silence” at the end of my haiku attempt. I need to be more vigilant about self-editing.

    Yesterday was excellent. Everyone seemed to enjoy Kim’s children’s story so we may continue to critique each other’s work at our meetings. What do you think?

    Kate, those chihuahuas are always getting in the way of pelicans. I’ve heard that story ever since I first came to Queensland, so, yes, it could be an urban myth. . .or maybe a coastal myth. You’d have to wonder whether that particular meal would have any appeal for pelicans. Maybe the bird felt that the only way to stop that horrible little yapping machine was to gulp it down, in the interests of peace and tranquility. I once tried to calm a highly excitable little Mexican hairless and it bit me. It had such long front teeth that I couldn’t extricate my finger from its mouth. A tooth had gone in one side of my index finger and come out the other side, and the dog was shaking its head from side to side, trying to do even more damage to my poor bleeding digit. Someone had to hold its head still while I slid my finger off the tooth. My elder daughter almost passed out. When I reported to Redcliffe hospital for a tetanus shot, I don’t think they believed my story, or maybe they felt it was my own fault for not having a pelican with me. They sent me to a medical centre for treatment.

    Just now I checked the spelling of the offensive little canine in my Collins Dictionary, and discovered that Chihuahua is also the name of the capital city of the state of Chihuahua, in northern Mexico.

    Thought you’d like to know all that totally irrelevant information.

    Keep up the great work.

    Best wishes,

  7. Kim Says:

    Just a quote I read that I though might be nice to share……………………..

    “Time and time and time again I have experienced a peculiar phenomenon in writing groups. Someone will write something extra-ordinary and then have no idea about its quality.
    It doesn’t matter how much I rave about it or the other people in the group give positive feedback; the writer cannot connect with the fact that it is good writing.
    He doesn’t deny it; he just sits there bewildered and later, through the grapevine, I hear that he never believed a word that was said. It’s been over years that I have observed this. It isn’t one downtrodden, insecure character in one writing group that has not been awakened to his own good writing.” Natalie Goldberg

  8. Kim Says:

    Another great TED talk for anyone who is interested – Cheers Kim

  9. Cheryl Jorgensen Says:

    Hi Kim,
    Thank you for the excellent link. It is right on the money.
    Here is another TED you might like to look at.

    Sir Ken Robinson: Do Schools Kill Creativity?

    Going by the web address you’ve provided, it could be

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