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old pond! 
The World of Haiku 
a frog jumps in-the 
sound of water
HAIKU 
Raymund A. Yadao
HISTORY OF HAIKU 
• In Japan in the 15th century, a poetic form 
named "renga" blossomed. 
• Renga is a poem several poets...
• In the 16th century, instead of renga, it 
was haikai - humorous poem - that 
became popular. Haikai (haikai-renga) is a...
• The first verse of renga and haikai is 
called "hokku". Haikai poets sometimes 
presented their hokkus as independent 
p...
• Cutting (punctuation marks) -, …, or word 
• Pivot (changes or turns the direction of 
the poem)
What is Haiku? 
• Haiku is one of the most important form of 
traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is, 
today, a 17-syllable...
• Since early days, there has been 
confusion between the three related terms 
Haiku, Hokku and Haikai. 
• The term hokku ...
• Because the hokku set the tone for the 
rest of the poetic chain, it enjoyed a 
privileged position in haikai poetry, an...
• Largely through the efforts of Masaoka 
Shiki, this independence was formally 
established in the 1890s through the 
cre...
Modern Haiku 
• The history of the modern haiku dates 
from Masaoka Shiki's reform, begun in 
1892, which established haik...
Shiki was a strong 
advocate of 
modernization of 
Japanese poetry, even 
coining the terms "haiku" 
(replacing hokku) and...
• Kawahigashi Hekigoto carried Shiki's 
reform further with two proposals: 
• Haiku would be truer to reality if there 
we...
Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar 
• "Prince of Tagalog 
Poets." 
• Florante at Laura 
• "Balagtasan“ 
• "King of Filipino 
Po...
How to write Haiku? 
• In Japanese, the rules for how to write 
Haiku are clear, and will not be discussed 
here. In forei...
• The metrical pattern of Haiku 
– Haiku-poems consist of respectively 5, 7 and 
5 syllables in three units. In japanese, ...
• The seasonal theme 
– Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, 
which indicate in which season the Haiku is set. F...
The best known Japanese haiku is 
Bashō's "old pond" haiku: 
old pond! 
a frog jumps in-the 
sound of water
Basho, Matsuo. (1644-1694) 
• The name Basho (banana tree) he adopted the 
name around 1681 after moving into a hut with a...
• Basho's father was a low-ranking samurai 
from the Iga Province. To be a samurai, 
Basho serviced for the local lord Tod...
• During the years, Basho made many 
travels through Japan, and one of the 
most famous is when he went to the north, 
whe...
• On his last trip, he died in Osaka, and his 
last haiku indicates that he was still 
thinking of traveling and writing p...
Here’s an exercise that you can 
try on your own to help you 
deepen your understanding of the 
art of haiku.
Awaken to the current season 
and its imagery 
Goal
Writing Exercise: 
• Take a walk. Notice the natural world 
around you and those things that are 
associated with the curr...
• Observe and allow yourself to be moved. 
Sit down and write down some of the 
images you observed on your walk. Don't 
j...
Format: 
• Write three haiku in a traditional Japanese 
format (17 syllables 5-7-5). Then try 
rewriting the same three po...
Remember: 
• Use simple, direct language and words 
that evoke a season. Try to incorporate a 
cutting or pivot word so th...
The Basics of Haiku
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The Basics of Haiku

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Explore the world of Literature of Japan via Haiku.

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The Basics of Haiku

  1. 1. old pond! The World of Haiku a frog jumps in-the sound of water
  2. 2. HAIKU Raymund A. Yadao
  3. 3. HISTORY OF HAIKU • In Japan in the 15th century, a poetic form named "renga" blossomed. • Renga is a poem several poets create cooperatively. Members alternately add verses of 17 syllables (5, 7, and 5 syllables) and those of 14 syllables (7 and 7 syllables), until they complete a poem generally composed of 100 verses.
  4. 4. • In the 16th century, instead of renga, it was haikai - humorous poem - that became popular. Haikai (haikai-renga) is a poem made of verses of 17 and 14 syllables like renga, but it parodies renga introducing modern vulgar laughter. Haikai poets used plays on words and treated preferably things of daily life renga hadn't found interesting.
  5. 5. • The first verse of renga and haikai is called "hokku". Haikai poets sometimes presented their hokkus as independent poems. These were the origin of haiku. • It was traditionally demanded to adopt a kigo (season word: word reffering to a season) in the first verse of renga and haikai. Therefore, they demand to introduce a kigo in a hokku (and in a haiku) too.
  6. 6. • Cutting (punctuation marks) -, …, or word • Pivot (changes or turns the direction of the poem)
  7. 7. What is Haiku? • Haiku is one of the most important form of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is, today, a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables.
  8. 8. • Since early days, there has been confusion between the three related terms Haiku, Hokku and Haikai. • The term hokku literally means "starting verse", and was the first starting link of a much longer chain of verses known as haika.
  9. 9. • Because the hokku set the tone for the rest of the poetic chain, it enjoyed a privileged position in haikai poetry, and it was not uncommon for a poet to compose a hokku by itself without following up with the rest of the chain.
  10. 10. • Largely through the efforts of Masaoka Shiki, this independence was formally established in the 1890s through the creation of the term haiku. This new form of poetry was to be written, read and understood as an independent poem, complete in itself, rather than part of a longer chain.
  11. 11. Modern Haiku • The history of the modern haiku dates from Masaoka Shiki's reform, begun in 1892, which established haiku as a new independent poetic form. • Shiki's reform did not change two traditional elements of haiku: the division of 17 syllables into three groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables and the inclusion of a seasonal theme.
  12. 12. Shiki was a strong advocate of modernization of Japanese poetry, even coining the terms "haiku" (replacing hokku) and "tanka" (replacing waka).
  13. 13. • Kawahigashi Hekigoto carried Shiki's reform further with two proposals: • Haiku would be truer to reality if there were no center of interest in it. • The importance of the poet's first impression, just as it was, of subjects taken from daily life, and of local color to create freshness.
  14. 14. Francisco “Balagtas” Baltazar • "Prince of Tagalog Poets." • Florante at Laura • "Balagtasan“ • "King of Filipino Poetry"
  15. 15. How to write Haiku? • In Japanese, the rules for how to write Haiku are clear, and will not be discussed here. In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems. Anyway, let's take a look at the basic knowledge:
  16. 16. • The metrical pattern of Haiku – Haiku-poems consist of respectively 5, 7 and 5 syllables in three units. In japanese, this convention is a must, but in english, which has variation in the length of syllables, this can sometimes be difficult.
  17. 17. • The seasonal theme – Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, which indicate in which season the Haiku is set. For example, cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow indicate winter, and mosquitoes indicate summer, but the season word isn't always that obvious. – Please notice that Haiku-poems are written under different rules and in many languages. For translated Haiku-poems, the translator must decide whether he should obey the rules strictly, or if he should present the exact essence of the Haiku. For Haiku-poems originally written in English, the poet should be more careful. These are the difficulties, and the pleasure of Haiku.
  18. 18. The best known Japanese haiku is Bashō's "old pond" haiku: old pond! a frog jumps in-the sound of water
  19. 19. Basho, Matsuo. (1644-1694) • The name Basho (banana tree) he adopted the name around 1681 after moving into a hut with a banana tree alongside. He was called Kinsaku in childhood and Matsuo Munefusa in his later days.
  20. 20. • Basho's father was a low-ranking samurai from the Iga Province. To be a samurai, Basho serviced for the local lord Todo Yoshitada (Sengin). Since Yoshitada was fond of writing haikai, Basho began writing poetry under the name Sobo.
  21. 21. • During the years, Basho made many travels through Japan, and one of the most famous is when he went to the north, where he wrote Oku No Hosomichi (1694).
  22. 22. • On his last trip, he died in Osaka, and his last haiku indicates that he was still thinking of traveling and writing poetry as he lay dying: – Fallen sick on a journey, In dreams I run wildly Over a withered moor.
  23. 23. Here’s an exercise that you can try on your own to help you deepen your understanding of the art of haiku.
  24. 24. Awaken to the current season and its imagery Goal
  25. 25. Writing Exercise: • Take a walk. Notice the natural world around you and those things that are associated with the current season. • For example, if it is winter, look deeply at the ice crystals on your gloves, or listen to the sound that your boots make on the stone steps.
  26. 26. • Observe and allow yourself to be moved. Sit down and write down some of the images you observed on your walk. Don't just describe the images, feel them.
  27. 27. Format: • Write three haiku in a traditional Japanese format (17 syllables 5-7-5). Then try rewriting the same three poems in 12 or 13 syllables. Which effort produced the better poems?
  28. 28. Remember: • Use simple, direct language and words that evoke a season. Try to incorporate a cutting or pivot word so that the halves of your haiku seem to speak to each other.

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