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Writing Haiku: Beyond 5-7-5

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 4 months ago

Writing Haiku: Beyond 5-7-5

August 2008


HOPED-FOR OUTCOME: Original haiku which the author is pleased to have written.


What do students need to achieve this goal?



Day 1:




History of Haiku & Quiz


When were the first haiku written?

What is a tanka?

What is a renga or renku?

Which Japanese poet is considered by many to be the father of haiku?




history: voicethread

quiz: http://mystudiyo.com/myquizzes


Day 2:




Modern-Day definitions of haiku





Day 3:




Read some haiku and reflect





Day 4




Write some haiku




Extra credit: submit them!








An understanding of context:


The history of haiku, which began life as hokku,  the lead verse of a collaborative linked verse (renga or renkyu).


From the website http://peoplespoetry.org:

Renga (also known as renku) is a Japanese poetry form several centuries older than haiku, which evolved from it. More than a thousand years ago Japanese poets competed against one another in writing short poems called tanka. After the competitions, the poets relaxed by writing collaborative poems, which became known as renga. Some renga had as many as a thousand verses, although one hundred was the usual length. The renowned poet Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) popularized the thirty-six-stanza renga common today.  At a typical renga session or party, a number of poets get together to compose a collaborative work in groups of five or six, under the guidance of an experienced renga poet. They take turns writing short stanzas, each of which links in some way with the preceding stanza. The first six stanzas of renga are generally serious and include formal introductions; the sake begins to flow after the sixth verse in traditional proceedings. The themes of human comedy, love, and calamity are all part of the broad spectrum that is aimed for, along with connections with the seasons and other cycles of the natural world.



From the website http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?id=305:


Haiku developed from renga and renku, longer poetic forms made up of linked verses that were contributed by different writers. The first verse in this chain, called a hokku (literally "starting verse"), became the model for haiku, setting the pattern for its metrical structure, its focus on a specific time and place, and its thought-provoking, open-ended quality.The haiku tradition dates back to the late seventeenth century, the Tokugawa Period, when Japanese society was emerging from the aristocratic culture of the samurai and developing a middle-class culture based on trade, commerce, and mass education. Traditional haiku reflect this shift in their subject matter, focusing on everyday occurrences and ordinary people instead of legendary figures and royal intrigues. It is poetry intended for a popular audience and remains the most popular form of poetry in Japan today. 


A pre-existing online haiku lesson: http://www.cranberrydesigns.com/poetry/haiku/history.htm






Basho-like hut: http://flickr.com/photos/missioncontrol/1403676669/sizes/l/



Possible images for inclusion: http://www.hiroshige.org.uk/hiroshige/tokaido_hoeido/tokaido_hoeido.htm


Shadow and chain: http://flickr.com/photos/jurek_durczak/553393297/


Oxford renga: http://flickr.com/photos/haikumania/737350329/


SunToad's calligraphy photo: http://flickr.com/photos/toadmahone/189247727/


6 poets: http://www.trocadero.com/dmitry/items/760417/en1store.html


Basho's old pond haiku, rendered in Japanese calligraphy: http://flickr.com/photos/petitshoo/8058130/




30 translations of Basho's most famous haiku: http://www.bopsecrets.org/gateway/passages/basho-frog.htm


Basho's famous Winter Days renga (36 verses) has been animated by a series of animators: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBxT4qsD9N8&NR=1

The text of the renga: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuyu_no_hi


Modern renku as a possible resource (Higginson): http://renku.home.att.net/


Modern English-language haiku


Haiku Society of America's definition: http://www.hsa-haiku.org/archives/HSA_Definitions_2004.html


R.H. Blyth's definition: “A haiku is the expression of a temporary enlightenment, in which we see into the life of things” (Haiku, volume 1).


Virgilio contest winners (young people) with judges' comments:  http://www.hsa-haiku.org/virgilioawards/virgilio-judges.htm


Still in the Stream winners with commentary: http://www.stillinthestream.com/files/wabisabihaiku.html


Shaping the stream... syllabic counts vs. one breath, "the turn", kigo


Jane Reichhold on defining haiku ("read a lot, see what speaks to you"): http://www.ahapoetry.com/haidefjr.htm


Japanese aethetics: mono no aware, wabi sabi, yugen...  http://www.stillinthestream.com/files/glossary.html


Basho biography: http://www.uoregon.edu/~kohl/basho/life.html




http://strangeplaces.net/weirdthings/haiku.html (error message haiku)


http://dailynewshaikus.com/ (daily news in haiku)


http://www.37days.typepad.com/haikubookreviews/ (book reviews)


An understanding of their own biases: 


Reading some haiku


Some moments in their life that they deem worth saving, and some understanding of what will make a haiku "good enough":


Writing some haiku


(Avoidable traps)






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