Is Haiku Poetry?

Troutswirl did it again. Made me think, that is. (And laugh.)

Is Haiku Poetry? A Quiz appears to have stymied most readers — there are way fewer commenters than usual.

Okay, I admit it. I am also a non-responder. (Don’t you think I write enough already?) But one or two of you guys go say something about it. I know you know a thing or two about haiku by now.

(Don’t panic — you won’t be graded, you can answer as many or as few questions as you want, and most of them don’t have right or wrong answers.)

8 thoughts on “Is Haiku Poetry?

    • I loved your comment on that on troutswirl, Gabi. Very funny.

      Thanks so much for visiting here, I have admired your work for a long time. The World Kigo Database is an amazing venture. One of these days I’ll get around to writing the post on kigo I’ve been planning for a long time and your thoughts on the subject will certainly be featured prominently.

  1. Because it responds to many writing rules, I would say it is poetry. That is the form and how it is written, according to the Japenese traditions of poetry feelings and expression.
    However, it is rarely Parnassian poetry such as many people consider poetry is (the young girl and its small lambs, for instance). It has a third line that conludes the content and that is more in relation with subtility, spiritual work.
    So, to oppose Ashley, I argue that it can be an essay, a letter, a piece of news because it speaks of something, and that something concludes some inherent content!
    Because of the kigo, it develops a theme around a season, and there, a whole seasonal scene is developped and comes to a conclusion. Then, I see this as poetry in its role of sharing, of bringing matter to the others. So, why not a report, why not a mathematical experience?

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Claire. I’m glad to hear from a new voice!

      I too would agree that haiku can fulfill many roles … but I do think it is also poetry nonetheless. Other poetry also aims to share experience with the reader, and can be seen in the light of “an essay, a letter, a piece of news” (lovely way to think of poetry, by the way) — I don’t think haiku is unique in this.

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