Wednesday, December 1, 2010

autumn wind (not exactly haiku?)

a new poem

Autumn Wind

red leaves align with force of wind all the buddhas shout

reflections, and a bit about Haiku -
with edited notes from Wikipedia

red leaves

of wind

all the

not exactly haiku?

It depends on how you count it up. Most people think that a Haiku consists of 17 syllables; but, this isn't right. What is counted is actually "mora," which are not the same as syllables.
In contrast to English verse typically characterized by meter, Japanese verse counts sound units (moras), known as "on". Traditional haiku consist of 17 on, in three phrases of five, seven, and five on, respectively.

  does it add up?

...maybe if I had included "autumn" in the phrase "with force of {autumn} wind," then it would add up? - and perhaps it would even meet the 5,7,5 moras/phrase scheme somehow? I don't know how some words would be counted. For example, would "leaves" be counted as 2 mora?

Haiku (haikai verse), plural haiku, is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on), in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively. Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and moras are not the same. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference), and a kireji (cutting word). In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line and tend to take aspects of the natural world as their subject matter, while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku and may deal with any subject matter.

Onji is an obsolete Japanese word used in English-language discussion of Japanese poetry to mean the phonetic units counted in haiku, tanka and other such poetic forms. Known as "morae" to English-speaking linguists, the modern Japanese term for the linguistic concept is hyōon moji (表音文字) while the normal Japanese term in the context of counting sounds in poetry is "on". On (音) is Japanese for "sound" and ji (字) is Japanese for "symbol" or "character".
An English syllable may contain one, two or three morae.

Although the word "on" is often translated as "syllable", in fact one on is counted for a short syllable, an additional one for an elongated vowel, diphthong, or doubled consonant, and one more for an "n" at the end of a syllable. Thus, the word "haibun", though counted as two syllables in English, is counted as four on in Japanese (ha-i-bu-n). In addition, some sounds, such as "kyo" (きょ) can be perceived as two syllables in English but as a single on in Japanese. A word that illustrates both these issues is "Tokyo" (とうきょう), which is perceived as having three syllables in English (To-ky-o) but four moras in Japanese (To-o-kyo-o).

kigo & keriji

...and I guess the words "align" or "shout" should qualify as kireji (cutting words); and I leave "red" in association with "leaves" to count as the reference to a season (kigo), so maybe its not so bad either way.

Kigo ( "season word") is a word or phrase associated with a particular season, used in Japanese poetry. Kigo are used in the collaborative linked-verse forms renga and renku, as well as in haiku, to indicate the season referred to in the stanza. They are valuable in providing economy of expression.
In Japanese haiku a kireji, or cutting word, typically appears at the end of one of the verse's three phrases. A kireji fills a role somewhat analogous to a caesura in classical western poetry or to a volta in sonnets.

Depending on which cutting word is chosen, and its position within the verse, it may briefly cut the stream of thought, suggesting a parallel between the preceding and following phrases, or it may provide a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure.

red leaves align
with force of wind,
{and} all the buddhas shout

red leaves align,
{while} with force of wind
all the buddhas shout

"red leaves align
with force of wind,"
all the buddhas shout

haiku in english

But then, of course, this isn't in Japanese either; and while I wasn't really trying to write haiku according to rules in the first place, one might want to explore Haiku in English as a topic. In any case, it is the way it turned out and so it is what it is!
English haiku do not adhere to the strict syllable count found in Japanese haiku, and the typical length of haiku appearing in the main English-language journals is 10–14 syllables. Some haiku poets are concerned with their haiku being expressed in one breath and the extent to which their haiku focus on "showing" as opposed to "telling". This is the genius of haiku using an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without "telling all".
Or as Matsuo Bashō puts it, "The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of."

Translating back and forth between English and Japanese

Here it is in Japanese from Google Translate (three lines with no punctuation) -

• red leaves align
with force of wind
all the buddhas shout


Aka wa awase ha-fū no chikara de subete no hotoke ga sakebu
- and google translate sends that back to English as
Red Leaf suit
Wind power
All Buddha cry

Hmm. Any help with this appreciated :) Gomen nasai - my Sanskrit it seems, even as limited as it is, proves to be much better than my Japanese!

Again using Google Translate, I come up with these variations -

• red leaves align with force of wind, and all the buddhas shout

Kōyō wa,-fū no chikara ni awase Subete no hotoke ga sakebu
Autumn leaves,
according to the force of the wind
All Buddha cry

• red leaves align, while with force of wind all the buddhas shout

Aka wa, seiretsu no ha Kaze no chikara o motsu subete no hotoke ga sakebu naka
The red leaves of alignment
All of the Buddha
with the cry of the wind power

• "red leaves align with force of wind," all the buddhas shout
" Akai ha wa,-fū no chikara ni awase" subete no hotoke ga sakebu
"Red Leaves, according to the force of the wind," shouted all the Buddha

Aki no kaze
Autumn Wind

red leaves align
with force of wind
all the buddhas shout

See also

whats more: what can a fish know of fire? | Kōan

what it is: Fall in Mixed Woodland, Mendocino County

Updated presentation, December 3, 2011

what it is: red leaves, autumn wind update

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