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Haiku
twitch sigil
saxifrage00
tragedy and sex
titillates the nation
the front page beckons


Haiku are an interesting art form. They're relatively easy to compose, but like any good art form the quality is often determined by skillful use of the million variations in style and form as much as by the intended message. The above fits the tradition (among many) of a 5-7-5 syllable form, and a two-line sentence followed by a single-line summarising sentence.

The LJ haiku meme has recalled an old curiosity of mine. Anyone out there have a good book on haiku that they might lend or recommend me? At least then I can claim to be talking out of something other than my ass when I discuss my attempts at poetry. ;-)

Then, too, I might want to just work at finding better sources of inspiration than The Province.

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I don't have any additional insight on hand, but my company originally started as "Haiku Corner." I'll ask the principle if he's got anything good.

Hm, I don't have any books (oddly enough) but I do know that haiku is by definition nature poetry (therefore the LJ-haikus don't in fact count), and that lines 1 and 2 are supposed to contrast in apparent theme while line 3 ties them both together.

There is another 5-line syllable-regulated form, but I don't remember what it's called. I keep wanting to call it 'hentai' but I know THAT's not it ;-)

The 5-line poem you are thinking of is called a Cinquain, I believe. I found a page that shows you how to make one, actually...
http://jfg.girlscouts.org/How/make/cinquain.htm

...nevermind that it's a Girl Scouts site. =P

The model I used for the above haiku is the one first one outlined on this page. The style of contrasting themes brought together by the third line is exemplified by the second example on that page.

As the author points out, there are more rules for haiku than it is possible to honour in one piece -- there's plenty of room for interpretation and personal style. That's why I'm so interested in doing some research to see what's out there. :-)

I /have/ access to buttloads of works dealing with Japanese poetry. However, all of these are in the library of my seminar at home, so no dice there. ;P

5-7-5 is only worthwhile in japanese haiku. for western haiku i generally prefer a two line exercise, and to translate the "flavour" of haiku, no syllabic counting... it's hard to explain. i'll look up my haiku books.

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