Still Reading Haiku

Harder to choose than I thought. Winners tomorrow.

By John Scalzi

I enjoy pie.

28 replies on “Still Reading Haiku”

[Standard Disclaimer I Invented on the Fly]
First, this isn’t a rant or flame, so please, everyone, don’t take it as such; I ask out of simple curiosity. At worst, please take it as constructive criticism (yes, I’ve both taken and taught fiction and poetry shops for many a year, so my hide has been sufficiently thickened by exposure to the slings and barbs, etc.) And I’m sure it’s an egregious social gaffe that I don’t include anything remotely haiku-ish (or even tanka-like), but my better half is crowding me to trek to the nearest State Liquor Store (yes, I’m located *there*–please don’t revile or chortle at me) to quest for adequately potable substance. And she’s red-headed.

Okay, actual content. I’m very aware that it’s noticeably more difficult to write haiku in English than Japanese for various reasons, not that it’s easy to write *good* haiku in Japanese. That said, there’s more to even a *bad* one than seventeen syllables broken five, seven, five. There are many conventional images, expressions, and metaphors commonly used, a certain tone, usually a somewhat elegiac awareness of the passage of time, the “season word,” and frequent clever double (and higher cardinality) entendre achieved via the much higher occurrence of homophones in Japanese than English.

If you had no intent to ask for something resembling haiku in the Japanese sense, but something more Twitter-like, then I apologize, and hope everyone decided to ignore this screed before leaping to the keys (or, more apropos, Dragon) to administer a right proper flaming.

Anyway, that’s what came out of the feebly perturbed state cycle resulting from the strange attractor this thread inculcated in my “leetle gray cells” (no, no, the ones in my erstwhile wetware CPU).

And, of course, love the novels, and just finished your book of blog compilations in a straight read. I laughed, I cried…and the book entertained me, as well. [insert rim shot suitable for bad pun]

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