Verse forms–of which haiku is one. I mentioned earlier this month that I’d found a whole list of Japanese verse forms: it’s not just haiku.
First let me do today’s haiku, which sprang almost immediately into my brain as I saw KL Caley’s lovely picture prompt on Thursday. She publishes the #writephoto prompt on New2Writing at midday UK time each Thursday.
A crozier, held Next Arthur's sword in the stone. Who will bring the key?
© J M Pett 2021
Japanese Verse forms: a very quick summary
If you enter ‘Japanese Verse Forms’ in Google (or other search engine of your choice), you will get a pretty good variety of places to find out more. Writersdigest.com and Masterclass.com both list ’10 common forms’. Wikipedia gives a good overview – wikipedia is my friend, and I donate some money once a year, because I think it’s worth its weight in gold.
I’m just going to list a few from Wikipedia:
Haiku – as you know it’s a 5-7-5 syllable (Jap: on or morae) poem – one line in Japanese, three lines in other languages (I didn’t know that). This is described as the ‘typical form’. Other ideas include two images of ideas with a ‘cutting word’ between them; also seasonal references. I’m pleased that ‘Many haiku are objective in their depiction of personal experiences’ so I might be on the right track, after all.
Tanka – there is a tanka meme around, but I didn’t know what it was. These are five line poems with a 5–7–5–7–7 metre. Wikipedia says ‘written in Japanese’ but gaining popularity in other languages. Tanka are a subset of Waka, along with kanshi, which are described as Japanese language Chinese poetry.
Renga, Renku and Uta-awase – are forms of collaborative verse. Renga start with some lines from the ‘honoured guest’ followed by a stanza from the ‘host’. It can continue with either more guests between the host or just one guest returning. Uta-awase is a gathering of poets to create collaborative verse!
I hope you found that interesting: of course Japanese poetry is an art form taking many years to study. But I might have a look at that tanka meme now I know what it is!
I passed the 80% mark on Saturday evening, which gives me hope I might meet my target. After I wrote the main crisis on Friday, I became very upset. I tend to avoid putting my characters through too many nastinesses. Later I wondered if I had enough story to complete the target, but given I’m only just writing the occupation episode after which they are going to Rise Up (see last Wednesday), there’s a lot to tie up yet.
But I’m at the stage where I’m living in my writing world, and I can’t stop thinking about it. I think of really good paragraphs, and have to rush and write them down before they disappear into the mist. I might even get the last 15k written in five days.