November
5
2006

A new leaf

Drink with me brothers
It’s time to forget the past
and make new problems.

Written by Captain Hops.

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Thing of the Day: The Sound of Water: Haiku by Basho, Buson, Issa, and Other Poets

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Comments

  1. hah hah ahha…good one.

  2. Emelie Buckner says:

    Strictly speaking – I thought true haiku had to have a seasonal reference and encapsulate an image of nature – so beer haiku are not true haiku. Am I wrong?

  3. Hi Emelie,
    It depends on who you ask. Haiku has always been an evolutionary artform. It’s true that many of the best known examples of haiku include seasonal references, regard nature, and include a cutting word. However, throughout the centuries these rules were compiled and promoted by different advocates and practitioners that had varying degrees of influence at different times. Adherence to these “rules” ebbed and flowed.

    When you look at the broad swath of history of haiku and it’s related forms, you see that the true unifying thread is the sharing of an experiential or existential emotion in a very brief format. Indeed even in Japan, haiku writers were getting away from the nature and seasonal rules at the beginning of the 20th century as the industrial economy was taking hold and man was exerting more influence over his environment and supplanting nature in his life.

    This trend and shift became more dramatic as haiku was introduced to the world audience. The structural rules of traditional haiku are very much tied to the Japanese language. These rules needed to be bent, broken, or reinterpreted to accommodate translations of old haiku and creation of new haiku in other languages. New rules and guidelines emerged. Although there will likely never be a full consensus on the validity of these new guidelines, many people latched on to the concept of haiku as a single breath poem.

    I believe that beer is very much part of the human experience and a valid subject of haiku.

    Does that mean that everything written here is haiku? Probably not. It’s certainly not all successful haiku. Even Basho felt that only a fraction of a percent of his thousands of attempts at haiku was successful. And I am no Basho.

    For me the point is to create a daily exercise of writing and wordplay on a topic I enjoy. It’s an opportunity to reflect on a nearly universal experience in a brief and somewhat absurdist style. I force myself into the 5, 7, 5 structure, but that’s a personal choice.

    So are beer haiku true haiku? They are for me. You will have to decide on your own.

    Of course, I don’t think it is reasonable to switch to the domain name:
    http://www.beerhaikuandrelatedpoeticformsdaily.com.

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