Sunday, 25 April 2010
Could haiku be a joke played on the rest of the world by the inscrutable Japanese? I've sometimes wondered. Today I am putting forward the view that haiku, in the West at any rate, are not poetry.
While researching this post (see, the trouble I go to) I came across a haiku I like. Here it is:
he watches my gauze dress
blowing on the line
Alexis Rotella 1984
This is an exception to the generality of haiku. Wikipedia informed me that in Japan there's a lot more to them than having 5/7/5 syllables, but somehow this has got lost in transit. Over here, it's just an easy way to let schoolchildren think they are writing poetry when they are not. (The other way is free verse, i.e. a short piece of prose about nothing very much chopped up into random lines on the page.)
Proper poetry rhymes and scans, and from this derives its power and memorability. The writers of pop and rock lyrics know this. Alas, many English teachers do not.
Do tell me whether you agree with me. If you like, you can tell me in haiku form, which shouldn't take you much more than a minute. Here is mine:
What is your fascination?
Posted by Lexi at Sunday, April 25, 2010