What is Haiku?A Lesson by Dinesh Sairam
The most visible factor of a good haiku is, it communicates only one emotion. It may create a lot of other emotions in the reader, but from the writer's point-of-view, there should only be one - strong and relatable emotion. There's no room for ambiguity of feelings.
The second most important aspect is the juxtaposition of imagery. Since a Haiku is too short for explanations, it's inevitable that each individual imagery should be raw and confusing. There should be 2 imageries (3 Maximum) and they should be independent of each other. No two imageries should have a connection in the normal sense.
Thirdly, a Haiku should be about a passing thought. It should never tend to explain why or how the feeling happened. It should capture a momentary thought in brief descriptions.
Matuso Basho summarizes these points in his quote: "The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of."
The final characteristic of Haiku is the likeliness of being personal. No good Haiku is too philosophical or holds an 'universal view'. It's simply from the author's sense and memory, and does not go beyond to produce another person's thoughts.
The following are the examples of some good Haikus:
bush clover in blossom waves
a drop of dew
the deep red of the rose
in his tattoo
Detailed characteristics of a Haiku will be seen in later lessons. So, to summarize - only one emotion, no room for ambiguity, juxtaposition of imagery, a passing thought, the likeliness of being personal.
Added on November 12, 2011
Last Updated on March 6, 2013
Tiruchirappalli, Tamilnadu, India
AboutFollow @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..