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spring sycamore hokku

March 31, 2008

According to, what most of us think of as haiku, as practiced by well-known practioners like Basho, is actually hokku; the two forms have little but brevity in common. On this blog, the aesthetics of hokku are– HUMOUR, SOLITUDE, UNCONVENTIONALITY, SUGGESTIVENESS NATURALNESS, ASYMMETRY, TRANQUILITY, TRANSIENCE I tried to keep some of these ideas in mind while composing this new poem today (when I should have been grading papers, I was looking out the window!)

sycamore skirts wind
rise on spring fuzz cream undies
cling tomorrow fall

The failure to me of this attempt however is that it lacks the simplicity of good hokku–mine is still overly complicated. Maybe I should unpack the images, the narrative, and turn it into a few verses (hmmn, another day!)

What do you think? How does it work for you?

ride the poetry train! check out other readwritepoem responses!


8 Comments leave one →
  1. March 31, 2008 7:43 am

    Interesting. Infact what most write are senryu. Haiku has to have a kigo word.

    last journey

  2. March 31, 2008 11:01 am

    i am no form nazi,, so i cannot comment on that… but i can tell you the images that you provided me with here are breathtaking….

  3. March 31, 2008 1:57 pm

    You definitely got the unconventionality and suggestiveness right! I like it. Paisley’s comment about ‘form Nazi’ made me laugh.

  4. March 31, 2008 3:15 pm

    Unconventional but cool. I couldnt stop my chuckle at fuzz cream undies- its the 12 year old in me. :)

  5. March 31, 2008 3:36 pm

    so much to learn beyond 5-7-5 and nature! now to find out what a kigo word is and whether this is a senryu–it’s probably explained in the Higginson Haiku handbook or the hokku website. thanks, Gautami, for the tip.

    glad it made you chuckle, RG, and you liked the suggestiveness, Julia! that was my partner’s favorite part of course! and I’m glad to see the images worked for all of you.

    i look forward to cruising around and seeing what you all and other people wrote later tonight when i get home…

  6. March 31, 2008 4:46 pm

    I agree with paisley. To me, forms are only suggestions to play around with. In fact, I prefer to read poems that “break” the rules.

    your images are delightful. If you continue with them in a longer poem in the future, I’d love to read it. But your hokku stands on its own. :)

  7. April 1, 2008 12:57 am

    It takes a couple readings but when the images connect, they are wonderful! I did the same thing today when I should have been correcting papers! Except, I looked out on snow without any new spring buds at all. Soon, I hope!

  8. April 1, 2008 3:27 am

    Okay, it might not be a haiku, it’s still a cool poem (must now research Haiku and hokku and kigo words). :)

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