HAIKU By MOHAMMED FAKHRUDDIN (India)
Haiku is a rose
That grows certainly not in
A good poem has many different approaches, and curious methods of exerting powers over its readers. Or should we say over its readers, speakers and hearers? We lose a great deal nowadays because we seldom read poems aloud, even to ourselves. Yet most poems, in the enormous treasury of world literature, need to be spoken or chanted in chorus, or sung to music. Much of their meaning is in their sound.
Two of the biggest powers of poetry are melody and rhythm. Rhythm is the pulse through which its regularity enhances our interest and sustains our excitement, and through its variations, emphasizes the meaning. Melody is the music of vowels and consonants, syllables and words, which delights the hearer and emphasizes the meaning in a different way. In our own language and in others, much of the best poetry has a powerful rhythm. Some of the best poetry also has a subtle and delightful melody. This is one of the many strong ties between poetry and music. Poets know that there are many words that sound ugly but have interesting meanings, and beautiful resonance that has little or no meaning, at best only a vague significance.
One of the problems of the poet’s art is therefore to use such sounds in order to help the total effect of a poem.
Writing poetry is a way of life to some or a pleasant occasional pastime to others. But the habit of poetry has something in common with the habit of prayer – through it we search for the unknown and search for our own heart, our own true self, our own deep most consciousness, our own soul, and, to praise and to understand, we submit ourselves to a discipline which is partly a discipline of dedication and partly one of craft of making language adapt itself to the conveying of states of mind and inclinations of the heart incommunicable in any other way. The meditation and the craft are interfused, for the craft is the poet’s mode of meditation.
Haiku poetry writing is the best means to enter this state we call meditation and the craft interfused therein. Above all, the continuous practice of writing Haiku sharpens the imagination of the poet and opens up many avenues for self-exploration and self-realization.
That unique and so often misunderstood kind of art! Why do people get involved with it? There are many answers to that question. One answer is that Haiku intrigues the poet into tossing out the unessential and isolating that Haiku moment of truth. This Haiku moment comes like a flash of firefly light. One is looking at the ordinary and suddenly sees in an un-ordinary way, as if with new eyes, with an awareness as if a mist has lifted and one sees for the first time. Yet, Haiku isn''t just a photographic response. Deeper meanings and emotions must be revealed without pointing them out! That''s the trick, to make the reader feel what the poet felt without being told what that is. There''s no telling, only indication. What''s below the surface is the important factor in Haiku. The words float on the surface, the emotions, below.
hotographs are worth a thousand words. How can the Haiku poet make his few words reveal as much as a photograph and arouse responses in the reader? One way is to be true to nature. Don''t add an interpretation, as if the reader couldn''t know without help. Tell it like it is, as it is happening. Choose the words carefully. Make every one count to its fullest. Be lyrical (not poetic). Let the words sing. A good Haiku sticks in the new find like a single line of lyric poetry. It comes back again and again in times of stress, or emotional distress and brings comfort to us. Haiku is often called a playful phrase, because it only just triggers our deeper emotions. Read a Haiku again and again.
A good Haiku is like a good friend who is always there for us. Something we can count on. When we learn how to read Haiku (and it takes some skill) we can relate to how well the poet has done his Haiku moment and shared it with us. Whether Haiku or Zen poetry (having less than 17 syllables), poet should take care to inculcate imagery, symbolism and the element of Zen moment in the content. Mere structural form doesn’t make a verse Haiku.
Haiku should contain a seasonal word but you do not need to use the names of the actual seasons, such as spring or autumn. Other, less predictable words may indicate season - wattle, buds, rapeseed, new life, almond blossom, falling leaves, melting snow. Use the names of the seasons themselves to symbolize birth, life, growing old, or death. Symbolic words have deeper meaning. A crow may allude to death, a raven to a message. Water may suggest an emotion, or air a spirit.
You are all alone,
Stay with the Time and your Mind;
Life moves on it’s own.
Nature is not free.
So are birds and so are thoughts.
All Slaves. So are we.
Mind is a diamond
Cosmic rays when made to pass,
Creates a spectrum!