Lesson on haiku 俳句
1. Share your knowledge about and experience (if any) with haiku with your classmates.
2. Read the explanation on haiku on Wikipedia on Internet.
3. As homework, find at least one haiku and its interpretation and bring it to class tomorrow.
4. <As a whole class> Learn basic rules of haiku, and see if they are true with the one you found.
Form: Traditional Japanese haiku have seventeen syllables divided into three lines of five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables respectively. These syllable counts are often ignored when haiku are written in other languages, but the basic form of three short lines, with the middle line slightly longer than the other two, is usually observed.
Structure: Haiku divide into two parts, with a break coming after the first or second line, so that the poem seems to make two separate statements that are related in some unexpected or indirect way. In Japanese, this break is marked by what haiku poets call a "cutting word" or 切れ字。In English and other languages, the break is often marked by punctuation. This two-part structure is important to the poetic effect of a haiku, prompting a sense of discovery as one reads or a feeling of sudden insight.
Language: Haiku should include what Japanese poets call a 季語kigo -- a word that gives the reader a clue to the season being described. The kigo can be the name of a season (autumn, winter) or a subtler clue, such as a reference to the harvest or new fallen snow. Through the years, certain signs of the seasons have become conventional in Japanese haiku: cherry blossoms are a kigo for spring, mosquitoes a kigo for summer. Sometimes, too, the kigo will refer to an individual moment in the natural cycle, such as dawn or moonrise, without reference to a particular season. The kigo is also important to the haiku's effect, anchoring the experience it describes in a poetic here and now that helps sharpen the imaginative focus.
Subject: Haiku present a snapshot of everyday experience, revealing an unsuspected significance in a detail of nature or human life. Haiku poets find their subject matter in the world around them, not in ancient legends or exotic fantasies. They write for a popular audience and give their audience a new way to look at things they have probably overlooked in the past.
This same point of view can be found in traditional Japanese woodblock prints (called "ukiyo-e" 浮世絵), which distill a timeless beauty from the constantly shifting scene of daily life. For examples of woodblock prints that can help students visualize the world of haiku, visit the Ukiyo-e Museum of the Nagoya Broadcast Network, accessible through the Teaching (and Learning) About Japan website on EDSITEment, and browse the galleries called "Rain and Snow" and "A Sense of Journey." In each gallery, click on the small image to view a larger version with an interpretative caption, then click the larger version to view the image at maximum size. (excerpt from http://edsitement.neh.gov/)
5. Now, let's look at a haiku by a famous haiku poet, Bahoo 松尾芭蕉and
see if you find the aforementioned description is true with his haiku. 古池や蛙飛び込む水の音
Does this have 5-7-5 syllables? What is the kigo in this haiku and what season does it represent?
Do you agree to the statement that this haiku is a snap-shot of ever-changing beauty in life?
What are the two things described in this haiku?
What effect does a kireji have in this haiku?
6. <Pair-work> Share the haiku you brought to class with your partner. State your interpretation.
7. Find 季語 in each haiku you and your partner brought, and find which season that particular haiku is describing.
8. <Group-work> Pick a favorite season and make a group of people who
like the same season with you.
9. In your group, find at least 5 kigo that describe the favorite season of your own group.
10. <Individual work> Remember some pleasant or sad memories related
to that season, or think of a beauty of the snap-shot of that season.
11. Now, letﾕs try to create a haiku. Here are TEN TIPS FOR WRITING HAIKU By Alistair Scott
1. Purists insist on the 5-7-5 form.
2. No titles are needed.
3. Keep punctuation to essentials.
4. Make no judgments or overt comments.
5. Avoid qualifiers.
6. Take care with line endings.
7. Do not 'over-write.'
8. Keep it light.
9. Use two images and ﾒcutﾓ your haiku.
10. Beware of haiku 'addiction.'
Other tips from sensei are:
1. Do not simply tell your feeling.
2. Movement of sights and sounds are important. E.g. an eye-movement from a flower in front of the poet to the sky
3. Include 2 or more senses out of 5; look, sound, smell, touch, and taste.
12. Have your sensei read your haiku and provide you some feedback.
13. As homework, complete one haiku, and bring it to class tomorrow.
Writing Paper: 俳句（はいく） ‘Haiku’
First, explain what haiku are, giving examples of some well-known haiku. Compare haiku with other forms of poems you are familiar with, and express your thoughts concerning this. Finally, discuss the significance of haiku in the field of literature.