Haiku My Heart: Basho for Bonnie

Bonnie of Original Art Studio
recently bashed what she refers to as pseudo-haiku,
saying she refuses to leave comments on blogs that post them.

She says, "A haiku true to its original form 
should contain a seasonal reference, not be subjective, 
and contain a line that juxtaposes in clear 
contrast to the other two. "
She goes on, "Rarely do blog-posted haiku 
even meet one of the criteria, let alone all three."

So this week, I'm posting a haiku 
from one of the masters.
Does this haiku measure up? 

"A Fairy Moon and a Lonely Shore" - Matsumoto Print # 39, Matsumoto Do, Ltd. Tokyo
thought to be pre-1915 Japanese woodcut print

Autumnal full moon

the tides slosh and foam

coming in


Haiku My Heart


Anonymous said…
i dont care for rules myself. if it speaks to me, im going to like it and im going to say so :)
foxysue said…
I left all that purist stuff back in art school, love the pic though!

Sue x
Basho helped define the form - how could it not measure up? Beautiful choice of image to accompany the haiku.
deb did it said…
bashing ones creativity is like crushing and breaking and silencing the soul and spirit...like in kindergarten being told to draw INSIDE the lines. ~pffft~ Thank you Meri for a soft place to land and be creatively free!
Snap said…
Ah, well ... what can I say ... except pfftt and ptui ... haiku on!
Stephanie said…
I think this haiku blogging is more about sharing the love than strict haiku rules. Hope she doesn't visit me :)

yours is a lovely real haiku...
Ramesh Sood said…
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha,
does it matter, tell me
A haiku this too..
Marilyn & Jeff said…
I read Bonnie's post and others that from it. Very interesting, I know that mine are clumsy - but I hope that I do write them in the right spirit! Basho's haiku is perfect, his are so light, he really does capture the moment and the art work is perfect for it.
I love how direct and open you are, Meri! I did see the title "Haiku Weary" and decided not to go there. Actually--while evocative, seasonal, and from nature--I don't see a contrast line (Rule #3) in this Basho haiku as autumn's full moon will bring the tide swishing in with its foam. How about this modern one by Nicholas Virgilio:
"Now the swing is still:
a suspended tire
centers the autumn moon."
I think the important thing--and this has been my mantra recently--is to come from a place of love when writing a haiku or anything else. I see beauty, love, and affinity in every "haiku my heart" posted, and that's what makes it art, human, evocative.
Spadoman said…
I have heard that traditional Japanese haiku had to have a seasonal theme. I don't think I want to stop trying to write poetry of any kind because someone says it isn't done right. This sort of thing happens in a lot of things.
In the Native American Sweat Lodge ceremony there is a lotmof controversy. It differs from tribe to tribe and also differs from the people who run the ceremonies, no two are exactly alike. There are some there that say we shouldn't do it or participate because we are white skinned.
I guess if I was on some site that was suppose to be only traditional haiku and I tried to do it and I did it wrong, then I would stop. But writing for fun and pleasure to an audience of friends makes the big difference for me.
I do like the haiklu you published and respect any traditions of all people. If what I write offends, then so be it. I am not tryinmgto be traditional or disrespectful to another culture.

Unknown said…
Here's another basho for bonnie:

Eaten alive by
lice and fleas -- now the horse
beside my pillow pees

Matsuo Basho

I don't think there's a seasonal reference there
Meri said…
Well this certainly stirred up discussion. And Margaret, I agree with you that the haiku I posted by Basho violates the three rules set forth by Bonnie, which is why I chose it. But since it was a haiku by one of the four acclaimed haiku masters, she (and other haiku lovers)thinks it works. In my view, when you move a poetic form from one culture to another and fast forward 200 or more years, the hard and fast rules dissolve or at least evolve. That having been said, do I think that use of a 5-7-5 syllable count without substance or heart in the words is a form of haiku murder? You bet. But sometimes you've got to write your way to the good stuff by practicing and getting feedback.
Meri said…
Sorry Kimmie -- your comment came in while I was writing mine. The whole "seasonal allusion" thing is apparently culturally contextual, so you don't have to name the season to complete a reference. Perhaps we're just supposed to know that fleas are a summer problem... (I've been doing my haiku research).
rebecca said…
i read your post early this morning before leaving for work. i decided to wait to comment until my return at the end of the day. looked forward to all the comments from your stirring of the haiku pot!

i have enjoyed every comment shared.

i appreciate every ones haiku..for the heart, soul and unique expression they are born of.

thank you everyone who meets on fridays to share so unabashed.

your haiku speak volumes, as they are filled with so much heart!
will said…
Those that scoff at rules ... are they truly bohemian, free spirits, anachronistic, formless, without constraints, paying no heed to society's do's and don't as they go through they days? I doubt it.

Good post.
Lea said…
how wonderful it is to do what I/you want, even when I/you DO care what others think, because to say I/you don't care isn't really true... but to do it anyways... that is true freedom... beautiful print and words of a master...
gma said…
Maybe be I am a pseudo-haikuist.
But oh my heart!:-)
Basho words and the art are sublime!
Meri said…
I really did stir the pot, I guess. I generally like Bonnie's blog and find her to be a gentle and giving soul, so I was somewhat taken aback by her post the other day. After I read the post, I tried not to overreact -- just to sit with her opinion and see what I could learn from it. In fact, I got out a volume of classic haiku from the four Japanese masters, a volume on haiku theory and how to teach it, and a compilation of 108 haiku both modern and classical with explication and read them while I was down with the flu. I did a lot of thinking about it and figured it was worth approaching, both to get other people's reactions and perhaps to educate people on traditional haiku form. I love the Haiku My Heart community and how everyone visits each participant and leaves words of encouragement. Are all of the haiku entries uniformly great? No. Are some of them amazing? Yes. Do the amazing ones always adhere to the traditional requirements? No. I continue to feel that 200 - 300 year old forms can be expected to evolve, especially when changing cultures and languages. . . and that it's the brevity, the cutting through to the heart of things and making us see a moment in a new way that's the important thing.
Perhaps Bonnie is not familiar with Keiko haiku then which I posted about last week. It quite often contains no seasonal reference and does not even have the 5-7-5 syllable count. It was quite popular in Japan. I like the Basho though. But rules are not important to me. We are an all inclusive group. I guess we can also include purists.
Dawn Elliott said…
I've been reading Haiku My Heart posts for a while now and thought perhaps I might join in... As a newcomer, I would hope to play with my writing somewhat freely, and see what comes of it. Thank goodness that freedom to be creative and heartfelt is the unyielding sentiment here!

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