Minggu, 31 Juli 2011


Lately, I’m worrying about my constant slope of studying will that results on my sloth side to arise (okay apparently that is my nature, but yeah it is just growing more and more these days). Therefore, I’m trying to summon my remaining intelligence side (if there is still any) by doing the long gone hobby of my innocence youth: reading. But then, yeah age never lies; 15 minutes of reading a somewhat heavy book (can be literally or figuratively “heavy”) is more than enough to send me to the peaceful world called dream.  Okay then now I am on my plan B: writing!! But it still needs reading tho….uuumm it’s okay, in fact I can kill two birds with one stone then…(I don’t know whether the proverb suits -___-) .
This blog is one of the results of my mission in bringing back my intelligence side (once more, if there is any), and my choice is to write poems. The reason is that, writing poems needs less reading to get references (that cuts the possibility of me to fall to sleep too often), poems are short, even there are several poems consisting just a word or two, and in poems there is no right nor wrong….everybody will have different thought, so nobody will judge me right nor wrong hahahahaha.   
So then it happened that my friend, who is now officially an author, invite me to join her “activity” in twitter: writing a “haiku,” a short poem from Japan. She wrote several haikus in her twitter with hashtag #haikunow. So then, I tried to write some while was learning to find what “haiku” is.
Haiku is originated from ancient Japan culture. It is a short poems consists of 17 “on,” Japanese phonetic unit or known as mora to English-speaking linguists (don’t ask me more about mora, google it :D). These 17 ons are divided into three lines with the formation of 5 – 7 – 5 (yes I know, I make it sounds like a soccer formation -_____-).   This Japanese haiku is strongly influenced by the Japanese culture. It has several features that only occur in Japanese culture, like kigo, a seasonal reference. Kigo is usually a word that defines the seasonal occurrence, and it depends so much to the Japanese culture (and that’s why haiku is often defined as poem of nature) . For example, the word “frog,” in Japanese culture, has close connection to the “spring;” it of course needs a little adaptation and reading (oh not again) in Japanese culture. But as the haiku is getting popular throughout the world, some haikus were translated into English and other languages. The problem is, the on that only occurs in Japanese language cannot be maintained in the translated version of haiku, due to the differences in language and phonetic features.  
The best-known example of haiku is “bashou” (old pond)

Furuike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto

and is separated into on as:

fu-ru-i-ke ya (5)
ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7)
mi-zu no o-to (5)

and is translated as

Old pond….
A frog leaps in
Water’s sound

Note that the Japanese original haiku is written in Kanji in one line downward. Given the differences in on, it is nearly impossible that the translation of Haiku could take the 5-7-5 order strictly.  Even the Japanese modern haiku also formed in the “free form.” Nowadays, haiku also can be found in every language like of English, Indonesian, or Spanish, therefore the ancient features of Japanese haiku are rarely exist in the modern haikus. So in short (in my short thinking to be precise :p), haiku is a simple and short poems consist of three lines.  Of course you cannot take my definition into account as a reference; it is merely a naïf definition since I also am in the middle of learning about haiku (and gosh that will involve reading -______-)
So, back to my mission, this haiku is somewhat suits my needs of short, simple form of writing to ignite my brain :D.  And so, may we, ups I mean may I begin to study haiku then?

Prancing pages
Fifteen minutes deep

4 komentar:

  1. Nice article, Haru. I'm surprised that you can explain this much after 15 minutes reading only--I need at least a few days to understand... :)

    Honestly, as the one who invited you to write haiku, I cannot well explain 'mora' or 'on' in one nice definition. I'll just define it as 'syllable' in English despite the fact that both language have different linguistic systems that it is impossible to compare.

    And yes, haiku is "traditionally" talking about nature but if you go browsing on the net, there are plenty of haiku which talk about other things and omit the use of seasonal references.

    However, there are some people who keep the classic form of 5-7-5 too (even when they write it in English) but I don't think that we have to follow this rule, at least--if you wish someday to use this style--not now when we're still learning it.

    I asked an American haiku a few things about haiku lately. I love it when he said that haiku poets should develop their own short verses even though scholars may argue or reject your haiku as haiku. Yes, I totally agree with this. Let the criticisms do their job while you as a practitioner (poet) keep writing verses.

    The point is, do what feels good to you. Remember that you're gonna be the first reader of your haiku.

    Basho (Matsuo Basho) was indeed a famous haiku poet. I like it better when the water's sound (mizu no oto) was translated into 'plop' (Eng.).

    If you want to learn haiku yet having fun, I'll suggest you to check this site:


    Although it is for kids, I think that's all beginners should read. I've read it and had fun with the quizzes... :p

  2. hurray, now you are officially my first commentator LOL...thanks anyway....yeah let us just write, haiku or not haiku....who cares....what's in a label? that which we call poem by any other name would feel as sweet :D
    thanks a thousand bunches ghaluh....

    hey anyway, i havent received your book yet....make sure you got it signed for me...okay LOL

  3. haha, don't mention it. and about the book: according the post office, it will take about a week to reach Jakarta. it was sent on July 29 so please kindly wait a bit more... :) I was thinking to take faster delivery (JN*) but the "nearest" agency is located about 24 kms from our place...suck, indeed.

  4. your place? you meant you are in blora? so you are now a working-at-home girl? kewl!!! :D