AND, WHAT IS HAIKU, ANYWAY?
Haiku is a form of poetry that has its roots in Japanese literature going way, way back to 13th century Japan as the opening part of a longer poem called a renga. Around the 17th century it became a separate form of poetry. Among the more prominent Japanese haiku poets were Basho, Busson and Issa. Basho is credited with popularizing this approach, and many of his haiku reflected an emotional connection or response to nature. As the form gained popularity, it took on various forms. The “American haiku” form, a lune, was created by poet Robert Kelly (three lines, 13 syllables and typically 5 in first line, 3 in second and 5 in the last line). Another poet, Jack Collom adapted the lune format to have the same three lines, but made it word based (3 words, 5 words, 3 words), not syllable-based.
The traditional Japanese haiku consists of three lines with a total of seventeen syllables and follows a 5-7-5 syllable count (5 on first line, 7 on second and 5 on last line). In its early appearances, the haiku made mention of the season, time of day and dominant features of the landscape. It expressed moments in time and in nature. Keep in mind that Japanese words tend to have more syllables than English words. Therefore, translations can vary when going from Japanese to English.
In this exercise of creating visual haiku – in the writing of the poems, I have followed the traditional format. I chose not to use any punctuation. I am certain that given more time and deeper dives, I will be able to create more meaningful poems that might even stand on their own without the visual assist of an image.