Haiku and waka discussion

How did you get interested in haiku?

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message 1: by Shawn (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:14PM) (new)

Shawn (shawnb) | 18 comments Mod
How did everyone get interested in haiku?

For me, I was in Powell's Bookstore in Portland, OR, and I just happened upon the haiku section. I thumbed through some books and I ended up buying a couple. This was 3 years ago or so, and I've been reading books on Basho, Saigyo, Buson, the Manyoshu, and a bunch of others.

message 2: by Harley (new)

Harley | 42 comments I was introduced to haiku while in college back in the late 60's. I was reading a book on Zen and came across haiku. The first book of haiku that I read was published by Hallmark. From 1975 to 1982 I wrote and studied only haiku, publishing over 200 haiku in 25 magazines and books. I published my first book of haiku, Winter Silence in 1977 to celebrate the birth of my daughter. I passed out my book instead of cigars. My haiku have been published in Japan, Canada as well as United States. Some 30 years ago I read that Japan had over 5,000 magazines that published haiku. I do not know if that is true today.

You can find some of my haiku on my website, including an audio reading of Winter Silence:


message 3: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (shawnb) | 18 comments Mod
Welcome, Harley! It's nice to have a published haiku author in the group. Hopefully the group will become a little more active. Keep on posting!

message 4: by Dottie (new)

Dottie | 13 comments I attended a workshop several years ago, actually many years ago, that focused on Japanese poetry, and I loved it. It is so clean and refreshing. I was especially drawn to Tanka and published one (only one, lol) Tanka in the publication American Tanka. It was still a thrill. I haven't written much in the past few years, but this group my inspire me to do so.

message 5: by Harley (new)

Harley | 42 comments Dottie, thanks for joining this group. Maybe now we can get some discussion going. It has been a very quiet, contemplative group. Maybe everyone is writing haiku.

message 6: by Dottie (new)

Dottie | 13 comments Haiku certainly lends itself to solitude and introspection, but, yes, maybe there will be some discussion.

message 7: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (shawnb) | 18 comments Mod
Yes! Discussion!

message 8: by [deleted user] (new)

G'day all, not only do I wish to learn as many of the different forms of poetry that I can, but, I was at one of our writers group meetings when a friend mentioned Haiku, so when I got home I googled Haiku & liked what I read & started writing Haiku, I'm not to fond of the way the format has been changed to suit certain syllable counts & prefer to work at getting the original style right. I do like Basho & Buson, stil to catch up on some others, I have also done a bit of exploring into Tanka as well.

message 9: by Barbara Fay (new)

Barbara Fay (barbarafay) | 4 comments Hello Group:

I can't even remember when I first discovered haiku. Probably college, in the mid '60s. My mom also wrote haiku, and I once put together a little booklet of her haiku-written during a layover at O'Hare airport - for her to give to family members. Also, I belonged to a writing group in Massachusetts at one point, and a friend and I lead one session on the history and form of haiku. We weren't sure the group members would want to follow up with trying their own hands at haiku, but they all did. I collected them and put them into a small book for each group member.

I'm not too particular about keeping the 5-7-5 structure, because the language differences are quite distinct. I prefer to think of it as getting the thought in the briefest manner.

message 10: by Grace (last edited Nov 15, 2011 02:27PM) (new)

Grace (lionthatroarz) | 1 comments I found out about this kind of poetry form from my friend who was goofing around with it. I don't do it a lot, but theyre fun and sometimes they just randomly pop into my head. I'll probably post a couple ive done in the past, and if any of you would review them that would be awesome =D I'd really like feedback so I know better how to write them an stuff. =)

message 11: by Jenna (last edited Jan 22, 2012 07:27PM) (new)

Jenna (jennale) I first became interested in haiku after taking a class on East Asian poetry six years ago. In that class, we were assigned to read the Sam Hamill translation of Basho's Narrow Road to the Interior. I got hooked right away.

Since I was born and raised in the U.S., I've been writing "Western-style" poetry all my life: sonnets, villanelles, free verse, etc. However, since my ancestors come from Asia, I also feel a natural attraction toward Asian verse forms like haiku and tanka.

When I first began browsing American haiku magazines like Modern Haiku and Frogpond, two astonishing facts instantly caught my attention: firstly, a remarkably low percentage of contemporary haiku poets are Asian-Americans, and secondly, most contemporary haiku poets write haiku exclusively and manifest little or no interest in "Western-style" poetry. The same appears to be true of the contemporary tanka poets who are published in American tanka magazines like Ribbons. Has anyone else noticed these things? I'd love to hear your thoughts about them!

In my work as a poet in recent years, I've been striving to bridge the gap between "Eastern-style" poetry and "Western-style" poetry. For example, my first book of poems, Six Rivers, not only contains haiku sequences, haibun, and tanka, but it also contains some "Western-style" poems such as sonnets and villanelles. If you're curious, you can check out my work here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12...

message 12: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (shawnb) | 18 comments Mod
Jenna, thanks for sharing! I'll definitely check out your book.

message 13: by Phylicia (new)

Phylicia | 1 comments I'm studying Japanese and living in Japan and am from Portland, so thought I had no reason not to join this group. ;) I would like to get into haiku more, and also try my hand at reading it in Japanese. Cheers!

message 14: by Shawn (new)

Shawn (shawnb) | 18 comments Mod
Phylicia wrote: "I'm studying Japanese and living in Japan and am from Portland, so thought I had no reason not to join this group. ;) I would like to get into haiku more, and also try my hand at reading it in Japa..."

Yay, Portland!

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