Really Good Haiku (in English!)
March 31, 2002 6:18 PM   Subscribe

Really Good Haiku (in English!) Yes, some complain about the abundance of humerous haiku on the internet and otherwise (wherever that is), but the fact remains: we all love it, perhaps because it is so easy to do, but probably because it enriches our lives, like a really well made stone wall, or Sam Cooke. I have found some haiku which were actually written in english, about the sorts of things which we all like to laugh at. Enjoy them now!
[sfx: gong]
posted by Settle (14 comments total)

 
These are about racing cars!!

fast fast fast fast fast
fastfastfastfastfastfastfast
fast.........fast......fast...FAST-FAST!!
Make your backbone slip!!
posted by Settle at 6:21 PM on March 31, 2002


about the sorts of things which we all like to laugh at
Sorry, I think you've mistaken a large portion of us as rednecks. Race car humor just isn't funny.
posted by skwm at 6:36 PM on March 31, 2002


okay, how about bonsaikitten humour?

My bonsai kitten
Bounds with the grace, speed, and guile
Of a cinderblock.

art predicts progress
rectilinear kittens
it's hip to be square
posted by Settle at 6:37 PM on March 31, 2002


Mommy, make the bad man go away!

"we all love it"

Speak for yourself, Settle. I used to sort of like it but the bloom is most definitely off the rose, so to speak. Here are two haiku-centric weblogs that would love some people to join: One. Two. Maybe we could direct some of our pent-up haiku energy their way.

ps - I love your stone wall analogy. I have an old house with a little stone wall along a bit of the property line, and I never get tired of looking at it. I think it's what sold me on the house, actually.
posted by iconomy at 7:34 PM on March 31, 2002


IMHO, they shouldn't be applying the term 'haiku' to these small poems.

A haiku generally incorporates an outdoor theme, most usually related to the weather. Something or somewhere is described in the first two lines, and then the third line takes a giant leap, forcing the reader to fill a small gap in his mind. That's what haiku is, and simple patters of 5-7-5 are only 'small poems' if they don't make this leap.

More about this here.

Also, the 5-7-5 formation originates from Japanese. Since a Japanese syllable packs more punch than an English one, there is absolutely no reason to stick with a 5-7-5 at all.

Just hate to see the word abused, that's all. It could really put off someone who thinks all haiku is total dross, whereas really, it's a form of verbal enlightenment.
posted by wackybrit at 7:50 PM on March 31, 2002


Iconomy: Do you like Richard Long's sculptures/stone walls? I couldn't find any photographs but the 2001 Tame Buzzard Line is interesting.
posted by MiguelCardoso at 7:54 PM on March 31, 2002


ah yes enlightenment.

[sfx: gong]

How do syllables pack more or less punch in different languages? Not all japanese people talk really loud on the phone. Now, I think traditional haiku is quite wonderful, but I absolutely resent people who complain about the misuse of something they don't understand (and suggest that we ridicule irish poetry instead).

What's more I wouldn't call it enlightenment. More like craft, I think. A beautiful, reductive use of language to its fullest potential.
posted by Settle at 8:00 PM on March 31, 2002


so long as I'm talking to myself, here is my favourite haiku from www.jerkcity.com (by atandt):
balls hanging too low
careful, you'll put an eye out!
give them room to swing.
posted by Settle at 8:14 PM on March 31, 2002


Settle, what a great troll you are. I'll bite.

Study language. Syllables pack far more punch in Japanese than English. Most words are made of one syllable, for a start, and complex combinations of words can even be stated using a single syllable. If you can't understand that, don't argue the point. Japanese, on the whole, uses far less syllables than English.

What's more I wouldn't call it enlightenment. More like craft, I think. A beautiful, reductive use of language to its fullest potential.

That's what haiku has become in the mainstream eye. My point is that this is not what haiku originally is. Read some Basho, generally regarded as one of the finest Haiku masters.

I absolutely resent people who complain about the misuse of something they don't understand

Self-hatred is a bad thing. Of course, if you were implying me, then you're just displaying your own ignorance of what I know. I've studied it. I just can't stand the revisionism which sucks all of the life out of a wonderful art form based around Zen Buddhism and enlightenment.
posted by wackybrit at 9:52 PM on March 31, 2002


no no it was self hatred..not the other one about me not knowing something.

a great troll huh....I think metafilter needs a good troll. Not an angry troll who gets angry when there is too much state control. No, metafilter needs a troll that gets people to argue about haiku and other silly, insignificant things.

I accept the right (and responsibility)

[sfx: gong]
posted by Settle at 10:07 PM on March 31, 2002 [1 favorite]


wackybrit:
on the syllables thing-you're probably right if your thinking about discrete kanji picto/ideograms, but in terms of syllables, there are definitely a lot of common examples where japanese takes more syllables than english to say the same thing

eg
sumimasen=sorry (4:2)
watashi=I (3:1)
hontoo desu ne=really?(5:2)
etc.

i have studied the language for off and on for a little more than 3 years (a while ago now).
i'm not sure that it's even a fair assessment that most words are one syllable. I mean strictly speaking, to say that most words are one syllable would mean that 50% of the language is made up of one syllable words. i can't remember how many hiragana characters there are but definitely less than 300, and yet there are at least 2000 kanji characters in common usage.
By your logic, japanese would have to have a heck of a lot of one syllable homonyms...

[i feel like i'm feeding the troll-in-disguise *shrug*]
posted by juv3nal at 5:59 AM on April 1, 2002


I think metafilter needs a good troll

No, it doesn't. And the rest of the community does not seem to think that it does.
posted by adampsyche at 7:18 AM on April 1, 2002


my apologies.
hontoo desu ne ought to be 4:2
posted by juv3nal at 7:51 AM on April 1, 2002


A beautiful, reductive use of language to its fullest potential.

agreed settle- the appreciation of the minimalist beauty is where the enlightenment lies, wackybritt.

i believe- just as you cant rationalise why a joke is funny, you cant formulate or contrive true beauty, abstract or concrete.

i think most zen masters would appreciate the humour of these haiku and their appreciation of the everyday and mundane. i did. :)

[i also believe that trolls are beneficial to the health of any society, virtual or no]
posted by elphTeq at 2:07 AM on April 2, 2002


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