A Lesson by Dinesh Sairam

The 'Cutting' technique


                 Kiru or cutting, refers to the technique in haiku by which imagery is split. Kiru is essentially the omission of something that creates a gap in the imagery.

     This gap helps the reader to stop and think of what they've read so far and how it is going to relate with the (surprise) ending. Owing to this, a Haiku need not be too grammatical. Sentences and actions can be broken.

       For example, let's pick a topic: "Flowers"

the faded flowers
are lying in the ground -
the tree is bare

     This is a rather bad haiku, as it leaves no room for the reader to add his own interpretations. The imageries are preset and rigid (No Kiru, or cutting). Also, there is no juxtaposition of the images. When the reader knows the flowers are dead, it immediately registers in his/her mind that the tree would be bare. Hence, the haiku is connected on a whole, as a sentence, in the common sense. But when on the same topic, if this is written:

the flowers are withered
still, is this scent coming -
from the tree?

       This leaves a huge space for the readers' thoughts. It does not give statistics, rather explains the feeling in a hurry- so that each reader many complete it on his/her own.

     The juxtaposed images are 'The scent' and 'The tree' (And the kijeri '-' is aptly used)- The reader does not expect the scent to come from a tree and begins wondering. And in the reader's wondering lies the formula to a successful haiku.

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Dinesh Sairam
Dinesh Sairam

Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India

Follow @DineshThePoet An aspiring poet from the shady regions of Southern India. Inspired by the capital-G Great poets like William Shakespeare, Matuso Basho, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Willia..