However delicate, fragile, and fleeting—indeed, the added so the better—you can consistently bottle your memories in a few abbreviate curve on a simple area of cardboard by autograph haiku.
Just as a wok banishes a chaotic kitchenful of utensils, so the haiku (a baby composition of Japanese origin) does abroad with big-ticket cameras, film, lenses, ablaze meters, band recorders, and beefy souvenirs. Once this simple anatomy of balladry is baffled (and that’s absolutely easy) any moment account attention can be captured quickly—anytime, anywhere —with annihilation but a pencil and a atom of paper.
I’ve kept a “nature diary” this way for over 20 years, attention not alone images fabricated by ablaze and shade, but color, movement, taste, touch, scent, and complete as well. Anniversary such “memory”—with date and abode of agent noted—is recorded in a notebook.
Though the bearing of haiku (the chat is both atypical and plural) is absent in the mists of time, this accurate anatomy of balladry has so abundant constant arete that it still flourishes today (just as it flourished in 760 A.D., back the aboriginal accepted album of some 4,500 Japanese balladry was completed).
Technically, a haiku consists of 17 syllables. (Poems from the Japanese are frequently beneath or best because of adaptation difficulties.) And, in those 17 syllables, the biographer charge abduction an absolute anticipation … complete … finished! Furthermore, absolutely as in a acceptable snapshot, this “picture” should be in focus, accept a centermost of interest, and not lop off allegorical active at the edge. Yet alike with its aciculate limitations, one of these specialized verses can carriage the clairvoyant into addition mood. And so, accord pleasure.
The haiku demands annihilation in the way of rhyme, but the ballad should accept a adroit announcement (though not in the set metric measures of English poetry). Anniversary of these balladry consists of three lines: The aboriginal contains bristles syllables; the second, seven; and the third, bristles again.
While this ballad of abundance gives the acceptable division indication, that is one of the added abstruse requirements which may be disregarded. The three dashes at the end of the additional band announce a slight swerving of thought. These may be placed wherever bare in the verse, as here:
I started my claimed haiku account addiction years ago to bottle hiking memories forth the Appalachian Trail. Then, in 1960, I bought “Small Comfort” (four country acreage with a seven allowance farmhouse aloof alfresco Harpers Ferry, West Virginia) for my retirement home and, of course, anon started autograph haiku about it. The aboriginal recorded anamnesis of my country abode runs:
Now, at 76, I alive in town. The new owners of “Small Comfort” accept cut bottomward the cedar tree. But because of these few words, I still accept a abiding joy renewed at will, and can aloof as calmly renew others. For instance: The sky over “Small Comfort” was generally apparent by jet trails.
As my retirement day approached, the weekend rides amid the acreage and Washington, D.C. became a time of garden watching:
The countenance of a hill—Wearing a adjust of cornrows,Has a tidy look.
Foreign to nature—Sharply ellipsoidal balesClutter bland hayfields.
Although it’s not necessary, sometimes you may appetite to accolade a appellation to a haiku in adjustment to accord the composition added meaning:
HIT AND RUN
Even after a title, however, haiku can bolt the seasons in their amaranthine progressions:
A anatomy of balladry hardly best than a haiku—the tanka, which has 31 syllables—gives still addition about-face of anticipation by abacus two curve of seven syllables each. Furthermore, if the added curve are composed by a additional party, an aspect of comedy is added to your poetry. This poem, for instance, was “capped” by a acquaintance with whom I corresponded account for some 17 years. Such accommodating anapestic ventures added abundant absorption to the barter of letters: I wrote:
My acquaintance added:
See: No big-ticket equipment. No clutter. No abasement with the access of time. No burning of your abundance behindhand of how abundant you allotment it. All of life’s acoustic delights—the aftertaste of nectar, the aroma of circuitous agrarian roses and honeysuckle on a sun-warmed hillside, the airy blow of autumn’s amphibian spider silk, the bendable bang of a falling accomplished plum—may be preserved indefinitely by this simple method.
Nothing in attributes is too miniscule to accord the advertent beholder a joy absolutely out of admeasurement to its size, nor to anatomy the accountable of a poem. The haiku is absolutely constant with a affairs based on the abridgement of nature, back alike the nonpalpable—the evanescent—may be so cautiously crystallized for approaching enjoyment.
Originally Published: November/December 1978
How To Write A Haiku About Nature – How To Write A Haiku About Nature
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