Sunday, 15 March 2009

What has happened to beauty? - Two Haiku

Apropos my post a few days ago about the coming debate on whether or not we have lost sight of beauty - here are two haiku I have written this morning. I wrote them by a method suggested by Poet-in-Residence's haiku lifted from Shakespeare. Instead of using Shakespeare I used yesterday's Times supplement. Conveniently it had several articles around the subject of beauty. One haiku is for the motion, one against.

Our higher nature,
deprived of moral order,
exists in our dreams.

The moon and the stars
are still above our heads
tho' there's tarmac below.

Back to the gardening!


HelenMHunt said...

They're both great. And a very thought-provoking subject.

Poet in Residence said...

I think the second haiku is excellent and particularly effective, the word 'still' with its double-meaning and the use of tho' rather though is quite neat touch. 'Tarmac' and 'stars' is a half-rhyme that works really well.
Tarmac is black like the sky. We can almost sense the moon reflected in it. The phrase, again with double meaning 'above our heads' again good. It conjours up thoughts of creation and death and we think of 'when I walk through the valley of death' psalm whatever no. it is.
I have to say that the first haiku falls down for me because of its lack of concrete images, but that's just a personal opinion. I'm no haiku expert but I think in poetry in general concrete images are the building blocks ... unless you are a metaphysical perhaps? But maybe these kind of metaphysical haiku statements can work? I don't know. I never heard that anybody outside of India ever tried it.

Woman in a Window said...

Damned tarmac!

Heather said...

Both are impressive but I like the second one best. It is very uplifting to know that when, in life, there is tarmac beneath our feet, we have only to look up and see the moon and stars. Enjoy your gardening. I did mine this morning then sat and ate lunch outside and admired the fruits of my labours!

Jenn Jilks said...

I did an ode to spring. I can't wait.

It seems to be poetry day!
There are two streams of thoughts around haiku, traditional or

There are some debates about the 5-7-5 framework for Haiku. A comparison and discussion on the number of Japanese symbols, vs. English syllables.

Haiku: (for more information) Please also see Michael's Ten Tips for Writing Haiku.
He says, in part:

* Does your poem have a season word?
* Does it have the two-part juxtapositional structure?
* Do you use objective sensory imagery?

That said... a poem can be short/long, fat/skinny, descriptive/contemplative, rhyming or rhythmic. By all means, it should be succinct - an issue with which I deal daily!

Sal said...

I often write Haiku with my pupils.
You've inspired me to do some this week! Thanks ;-)

Raph G. Neckmann said...

I think they are both great! The second one is uplifting too.

I've just been gardening too - nice to have freshly hoed earth under my feet!

Leenie said...

Thanks for the demo and lessons on producing a haiku. Good ones, like yours, illustrate the quote by Antione deSaint Exupry--"Perfection is finally attained, not when there is no longer anything to add, but when there is no longer anything to be taken away."

Anonymous said...

I like these. I wish I still had some of my early ones. I don't remember where they are.

Kyfarmlife said...

Both Great!I love reading your poetry! Always great! Have you thought about writing a book? You should!
Hope things are well!

Robyn said...

I love Haiku and your second one in particular.

Phoenix said...

I loved the second one... first one I couldn't understand fully.. may be I am missing something... when I think higher nature, I think everything above the normal order of things... so how would that be deprived of moral order?

Dominic Rivron said...

I, too, prefer the second.

I have had, so far, a personal preference when writing (not reading)for 5-7-5. I find it has a satisfying rhythm and gives me a constraint to pit my wits against. As John Cooper Clark put it, "To express yourself in 17 syllables is very diffic". That is not to say one can't write haiku in english with any number of syllables - or lines for that matter, so long as they're short. Ezra Pound's famous effort has 2 lines and 19 syllables:


The apparition of these faces in the crowd;
Petals on a wet, black bough.

Reader Wil said...

Great poems Weaver! You have been busy!!! So many posts I haven't read yet!

The Weaver of Grass said...

Thanks to you all for the comments. I am always grateful for criticism - how else do we improve our work. Poet - thanks for the break down of the haiku - I shall have another go at the first one in the light of what you say - that idea of concrete images is a good one.Thanks to Jenn for her advice - there seems to be so many different opinions of haiku - not least because they are originally Japanes and therefore our syllables have no part in them.
Thanks to Leenie for that quote - my late husband had "keep it simple" writ large on his studio wall. Thanks Dom for the joke haiku - and finally - abe - get looking for those haikus - we would like to read them.

Sepiru Chris said...

Hello WofG,

I suppose I am contrarian, and I really like the first haiku. I am not saying that I dislike the second, but I really like the higher order thoughts.

It conjures us Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs, to me in that, without a moral order, our higher nature cannot be concrete.

The second haiku has a lovely feel in the mouth and, I like the feel in my forebrain of the first.


PS. Good luck with the gardening in your following post.

Janice Thomson said...

While I really like the second one I quite like the first one too. The most cherished haiku are actually ones that give a subtle sense of something - that make you explore the feeling or image presented.
Others reference a certain image with another to produce a contrast or similarity or juxtaposition.
I think these stand on their own quite well Weaver.