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Contents:
  1. Haiku: The Evolution of a Strict Poetic Game
  2. APPRECIATIONS; Jack Kerouac's Haiku - The New York Times
  3. From Bashō to Salinger and Everything in Between
  4. Haiku: Easy or Hard?

Other editions. Enlarge cover. Error rating book. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Details if other :. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Return to Book Page. This second double volume of haiku does not have a particular them. They been written over a two year span and have been inspired by love for the most part, places travelled to and dreams.

Those fulfilled, those forgotten and those yet to be dreamed With this qualification, that in the present time something like the following represents an informed consensus in the West. The criteria by which we recognise and judge haiku are:- their fidelity to 'haiku spirit' their sense of 'presence' the success with which images are juxtaposed the appropriateness of the subject matter the poetic taste they display, and the poets sense of proportion in choosing the right form.

There is, naturally, interplay between these ingredients, but the evocation of haiku spirit is generally the paramount consideration. For this reason, most dictionary definitions fall far short of the mark, mentioning little more than formal characteristics of haiku that are open to debate. The poet is apt to think of these perceptions as 'haiku moments', but without any wish to isolate them, for they are part of the continuous flow of experience and may exemplify life on a timeless scale.


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We use our senses to observe 'haiku moments'; from which point they are developed, not by ratiocination, but by intuition and a release of emotion. The haiku form has been used successfully to write adages and epigrams, but because the aim of adages and epigrams is to mould opinion they are not haiku in spirit. A Sense of Presence 'Haiku moments' come normally from personal experience. The poets task, when recording such perceptions, is to keep them fresh and authentic, as unique events, avoiding generalisations. This does not preclude remembered 'moments' and a few haiku will even represent composite experience.

To preserve a sense of immediacy, present tense is normally used, as if the situation were now. The term 'presence' is a mnemonic for this poetic stance. The poet may feel that the ideal wording has come immediately. Some of the best haiku occur this way and never change. But many successful haiku result from a long process of draughting and re-writing, during which the poet clings hard to the original perception. Some typical attitudes are humility, serenity, compassion, acceptance of transience and man's lonely state, joy in resurgence and company, wonder, wistfulness, as well as humour of a whimsical and sometimes paradoxical kind.

Juxtaposition of Images It is concrete images, not abstract words, that carry the meaning and create the tension and atmosphere in haiku. Two or perhaps three images juxtaposed in a short poem, without a clear syntactical link, allow a possibility of comparison which the haiku poet would aver is more pregnant than the simile.


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Haiku poets in the West, at least have an aversion to glaringly inventive metaphors, which they regard as intrusive, obliging the reader to accept the writer's personal view. They offend against the 'directness' which the writer wishes to achieve, "like jewels on a finger pointing at the moon". For the same reason, adjectives are sparse in haiku. A good rule might be to avoid descriptions that readers may easily imagine for themselves. The best haiku do not just recreate the 'moment' pictorially or in a narrative way.

They hint at something beyond, they present a movement. This may be an unexpected twist, or it may be a movement in the mind as the images are registered. Haiku are 'open-ended' or 'half-said things', so there will be later realisations. Some slight 'innovation of truth', stopping short of wilful fantasy, may be appropriate: the frost holds: Friesians in the byre chew steam David Cobb Appropriateness of Subject Matter The traditional subject matter of haiku is the world of nature of which humans are an integral part.

Basho advised haiku writers to "enter into the object, perceiving its delicate life and feeling its feelings, whereupon a poem forms itself" tr. Makoto Ueda. We try to avoid projecting human viewpoints into natural things. Where Kerouac does not follow the 'rules' syllabically, he does in terms of including seasonal words - the moon, the sun, leaves, noon - all symbolic of the season in which the haiku was written, even the 'winter fly' which ingeni Fantastic. Where Kerouac does not follow the 'rules' syllabically, he does in terms of including seasonal words - the moon, the sun, leaves, noon - all symbolic of the season in which the haiku was written, even the 'winter fly' which ingeniously refers to the END of winter, i.

Haiku: The Evolution of a Strict Poetic Game

Out of all of Kerouac's poetry, I believe that this has to be some of his strongest work, right up there with the ingenious, the timeless Mexico City Blues. Many people wrote Jack off because of his beliefs about spontaneous prose and Truman Capote's old hack that he was just "typing" not "writing" - well, time has shown, with increasing evidence, that he was a significant writer in American society, who in the later half of the twentieth century was apparently told by God to "go moan for Man" and someone whose quality of writing has consistently shown that he deserves more attention and acclaim.

May 01, k. The introduction alone in this book is worth the read. It's a great little book that fits in your back pocket. Yes, your back pocket. Kerouac basically gave birth to the Western Haiku. Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry, typically plotted by the seasons. While Kerouac adheres to the seasonal content occasionally, he focuses on everyday happenstance.

In addition, as Japanese Haiku is writ in syllable count per line , Kero The introduction alone in this book is worth the read. In addition, as Japanese Haiku is writ in syllable count per line , Kerouac's invintion of the Western Haiku has no fixed syllable count, but is condensed to 3 line stanzas with compacted lines.

Here are some favorites: A raindrop from the roof Fell in my beer I said a joke under the stars -no laughter When the moon sinks down to the power line, I'll go in Dusk - boy smashing dandelions with a stick The cow taking a big dreamy crap, turning To look at me Sep 19, Thom Gibney rated it really liked it Shelves: beat , poetry.

APPRECIATIONS; Jack Kerouac's Haiku - The New York Times

Beat Generation great Jack Kerouac takes on the traditional Japanese 17 syllable poem in his own version of the haiku in which he calls the 'American Haiku'. Though not subjected to the limits of strict syllable length, Kerouac sets out inspired by his buddhist learnings and personal solitude to meditate on the traditional form and create these beautiful haikus that capture the American spirit in short verse. It is a must-read for the large following of Jack Kerouac's writing. Mar 01, Mino rated it really liked it. Dec 30, Mike rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry , permanently-in-my-brain , favorites.

Some exceptional, many good, some bad; most of them are interesting, at least for a moment. Feb 24, Christen rated it it was amazing Shelves: read-in When I think of haiku I think of nature related subjects. I loved the unexpected way he would add modern twists to his take on haiku. His haiku are very self reflective and seem to be rather intimate.

You've been writing haiku wrong

He captures what he is seeing and feeling and thinking in just a cluster of words that bring sharp images to the readers mind. It is quite impressive. They read as very informal and sometimes funny observations of the world around him.

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But he makes you feel as if you are right there with him. Dharma rascals 'One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple' Jack Kerouac The Dharma Bums In my careful first steps on the Zen path, I am not very picky, with every teacher and in every zendo or monastery I pick something up, a picture a word a sentence. Sometimes just like when I hear a politician speaking, At the Longquan Temple in Utrecht, the meditation was Dharma rascals 'One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple' Jack Kerouac The Dharma Bums In my careful first steps on the Zen path, I am not very picky, with every teacher and in every zendo or monastery I pick something up, a picture a word a sentence.

He effortlessly connected the highest Chan or Zen ideals with his own daily struggle. Actually, this was the first time that a teacher really touched me. The conversation afterwards was also personal and heart to heart. When something is to be transferred, perhaps the only way, directly between master and student and in the silence of our meditation. The accumulating misunderstandings between Eastern words and Western ears are innumerable. Let me start with Jack Kerouac, the father of the beatniks, who discovered Buddhism in the early fifties.

Among others via the book Walden by Henry Thoreau. Kerouac learned to meditate and wrote two books about Buddhism, which his publishers were not interested in. Kerouac would later join a group of poets, students and philosophers who studied the source texts, something that Kerouac himself could not. One of them would become the protagonist Japhy of his second novel The Dharma Bums.

In the novel Japhy gets a vision of young people who wander around the world aimlessly, to find themselves or to live as a 'Zen Lunatic'. A prophetic vision.


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  • The established science did not get much on with Kerouac's Buddhism, but for many fresh young baby boomers it was a first acquaintance. Ginsberg started meditating through Kerouac. Bob Dylan gets interested through Ginsberg. Through Dylan, oriental thoughts came to The Beatles. Who had previously changed their name from Beetles to the Beatles as an ode to Kerouac. Through "Within you without you" the Eastern wisdom flowed into my teenage attic room.

    Pepper written by George Harrison.

    From Bashō to Salinger and Everything in Between

    He composed the piece after he studied and meditated in India for six weeks in with his mentor, Ravi Shankar. It contains many ideas from Hindu philosophy and teachings of the Vedas encapsulated in the exploration of spiritual themes that had become popular in the Summer of Love. Musically it relies heavily on the often much longer compositions by Ravi Shankar himself. Fifty years later I continue my wanderings, sometimes in zendo's and monasteries, more often through poetry or art, always in the silence of my meditation.

    Loved this. I was only familiar with some of Kerouac's poetry before, but never knew he was so adept at writing haiku until discovering this book. The haiku here are written in Kerouac's own inimitable style - that is to say he bends the traditional rules just a tad, ha. But what a result, or should I say results. What this book offers is a treasure of vividly sketched vignettes of nature and life, more emotionally arresting than they first seem.

    In the past few weeks since I got this book, I've Loved this. In the past few weeks since I got this book, I've carried it with me while traveling it's almost pocket-size as a kind of Zen handbook, each individual haiku offering a sip of meditative revelation. I enjoyed them immensely; more so than ordinary haiku which I always find get a bit boring after a few.

    But Kerouac's style of writing is so infused with energy and free-spiritism that it's hard not to feel affected by them. I just love how these haiku or haikus as Jack liked to say seem so casual and off-the-cuff, but as we see from some images of Kerouac's notebooks in the introduction, are actually a result of self-imposed strict editing. I should also add that there is a great introduction to this book by an enthusiastic Kerouac scholar, which was very insightful and really added to the collection.

    Yep it's safe to say that this collection makes me love Kerouac even more than ever. Just some of my favourites include: The sky is still empty, the rose is still on the typewriter One flower on the cliffside nodding at the canyon Quietly pouring coffee in the afternoon How pleasant! Straining at the padlock the garage doors at noon The other man, just as lonesome as I am In this empty universe The tree looks like a dog barking at Heaven But there are so many more!

    If you are a fan of Kerouac's prose then you have to try his poetry side.

    Haiku: Easy or Hard?

    It's, as to be expected, pretty darn cool. Aug 03, Annie rated it it was amazing Shelves: poetry. In the past few years, I have grown increasingly enamored with short poetry and the art of the haiku. Jack Kerouac's Book of Haikus is an enjoyable and inspirational read to which I will often return in days to come.

    Gary Snyder actually brought haiku to the West Coast poets, having spent the early 50's traveling in Japan and practicing Zen Buddhism. Kerouac studied the works of Basho, Buson, Shiki and Issa - among others - and pioneered the American haiku movement. He also turned to Buddhist stu In the past few years, I have grown increasingly enamored with short poetry and the art of the haiku. He also turned to Buddhist study and practice after his "on the road" period from , and I think his writing haiku complemented his spiritual practice.

    This collection of poems, edited by Regina Weinreich, includes examples of Kerouac's entire range of haiku, to include "Book of Haikus" which Kerouac supposedly organized for publication , "Dharma Pops" haiku in action and as they appear in several of his books and haiku from his notebooks from thru Following are only a few of my favorites: From "Book of Haikus": The tree looks like a dog Barking at heaven Frozen in the birdbath, A leaf November the seventh The last Faint cricket In my medicine cabinet the winter fly Has died of old age From "Dharma Pops" In the sun the butterfly wings Like a church window Swinging on delicate hinges the Autumn leaf Almost off the stem Haiku, schmaiku, I can't understand the intention Of reality Grass waves, hens chuckle, Nothing's happening From the Notebooks: Debris on the lake --my soul Is upset Wednesday blah blah, blah - My mind hurts September raindrops from my roof - Soon icicles Apr 01, Brieanne Tanner rated it it was amazing.