I have been catching up with my self imposed task of retrieving the lost issues of the World Haiku Review and I just uploaded a few more posts today.
Looking over the over 120 posts already uploaded I realized it has one of the very best collection of lessons to learn haiku. So I am listing them here – everything you wanted to learn (and still more to come in the future.) If you are interested in learning haiku or improving your skills you could not do better than read these pages.
Most of these lessons are from the Hibiscus School, the World Haiku Club’s teaching center, with Instructor Ferris Gilli.
“Lack of focus is a frequent problem for beginning haiku writers, and it’s only natural that it would be. It is very frustrating trying to pack all the wonderful parts of a haiku moment into a tiny, three-line poem……”
An important lesson on what goes into a haiku and what you need to leave out.
“Traditionally, a haiku is in two parts (components), combining two or more different topics, and most often presenting a pair of images that contrast or that are apparently unrelated. Working together, the two parts evoke mood and emotion. Ideally, there should be a caesura between them—a clear pause that is dictated by the sense of natural speech and sometimes indicated with punctuation. It is the juxtaposition between these two parts or components that creates an effect beyond the initial impact…….”
The three short lines of haiku are divided in two parts, and its only by working with these two parts that you can create a good haiku.
Guest Speaker Mark Brooks, discusses the reasons for the use of allusion and other cultural references, with plenty of examples.
Susumu Takiguchi, head of the WHC, explains the guidelines and rules of haiku composition.
Guest speaker, Peggy Willis Lyles, invites students of the Hibiscus Petals school to comment on a haiku by Ferris Gilli.
Haiku Instructor Ferris Gilli gives a delightful nature exercise to create haiku.
This is the first step –
“Go out and sit on a log, stump, bench, swing, old tire, tree limb, big rock, or on the ground — whatever feels right to you. Then, doodle in a notebook what you experience. Use all your senses, if you can. Be quiet and alert. See. Hear. Feel. Smell. Taste. Touch…..”
“One thing that helps us in our efforts to write simple, focused, uncluttered haiku is trust in our readers’ intelligence and their accumulated knowledge. We can expect them to know that a body of water on a bright day reflects sunlight, drifting clouds, and other things; that lemons are normally yellow, healthy lawns are green, winter wind is cold, that even winter sunlight can sometimes be warm, dogs bark, cats purr, and so on….”
“The form is good, and the concrete imagery is excellent; but the haiku is not quite there yet. The thing that keeps it from resonating is an intangible element related to juxtaposition that is hard to describe and sometimes harder to employ in a haiku. Sometimes a haiku just hovers — it is either perfectly fine, or it’s on the cusp between great and just a bit off. I’ll try to explain. I hope you’ll bear with me while I repeat things you already know — I will eventually tie my comments together and get to the point….”
An important lesson, not about what you put in, but about what you leave out.
David G. Lanoue explains what we can learn from his “virtual guest lecturer “ Issa, Illustrating the techniques of haiku using his poems.