Subject: haiku
From: Mark Levinson <mark -at- SD -dot- CO -dot- IL>
Date: Thu, 18 Aug 1994 10:30:23 IDT

I don't know the rules for English haiku.

** Rules for English haiku? Sounds to me like rules for
Alpine samba-dancing. The haiku is a Japanese form, and
the average English imitation is a pretty sorry thing.
Yes, as a rule a real haiku is a nature poem, and
it always implies a certain season of the year. The
most irritating thing about English-language imitations
is poets tend to write them about themselves or about
other people. Human beings are almost entirely absent
from real haiku, except as implied observers
or as the tenor (i.e. the hidden subject) of a metaphor.

In the 1920s or so, the cinquain was invented to give
English-language poets enough syllables to do something
rougly comparable to the haiku. A cinquain is a five-line
poem with 2, 4, 5, 6, and 2 syllables.

Mark L. Levinson | E-mail: mark -at- sd -dot- co -dot- il
Summit EDA Technologies | Voice: +972-9-507102, ext. 230 (work),
Box 544 | +972-9-552411 (home)
46105 Herzlia, ISRAEL | Fax: +972-9-509118
"You can't judge right by looking at the wrong." -- Willie Dixon

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