Towards the end of last month I wrote my first, ever, haiku and I posted it here. Lovely followers and supporters that you are, you welcomed my haiku with open hearts. A couple of bloggers, who are themselves haiku experts, gave me kind encouragement and information on haiku writing and its history. One of these bloggers was Sandra Simpson who is an award-winning haiku poet, living in New Zealand. Check out her latest winner here.
The other blogger to offer words of wisdom was AshiAkira. He brought to my attention the impact of the sound of a haiku. AshiAkira is bilingual and he writes that, in Japanese, the 5-7-5 “rule produces a very peculiar rhythm to our ear, which we think is very beautiful.” He continues, ” For about four past years, I’ve been trying to express that haiku rhythm in English, but never succeeded. I suppose I have written well over 1,000 haiku poems in English, but none of them sounds like a haiku when it is read…….The haiku rhythm has such an effect that it would stick to your mind when you hear it and you cannot easily forget it. So a well written haiku stays in the hearts of so many people.”
With AshiAkira’s comments on my mind, I went looking for the sound, the rhythm, of haiku in Japanese. And I found this. At 1.50 in the clip, you can hear Matsuo Basho’s haiku, in Japanese. It is exquisite; it goes straight from the ear to the center of the hEARt. Listen and hEAR.
Now, listen a moment to my second (ever) haiku. What do you hear?
Take a moment and read my words out loud, for yourself. What do you hear?
choral bees sing harmony
honey for the ear
In my world of eye to the words on the computer screen, or eye to paper page in hand, I am so accustomed to hearing the silence of words in my head that I forget the great oral, (or is it aural 😉 ?) tradition of poetry ; I forget that the noise of poetry is as important as they way it looks, as the way it engages our minds and our feelings. I forget that poems are a multi-sensory experience.
Do you hear what I hear?
What do you hear? What do you see?
choral bees sing harmony
honey to the ear
How does that feel? Sweet? Has my haiku found your heart?
And how would it sound in Japanese? 🙂
Postscript: This post would be incomplete without a hat tip to the wonderful Ellen Grace Olinger , who has been a gentle guide through the art of haiku, from the day I first started to read her blog.
Impressive and so beautiful. The spirit of haiku poem is amazing, I don’t know how to express well enough. Thank you, I have just found your blog in one of my beautiful blogger friends’ blog, I am so glad for this. With my love, nia
Thank you Nia. Haiku poems are a wonderful.
i love the way you go deap into things…and learn, and make us learn with it too! That clip on Haiku is very informative and beautiful. Thank you for sharing it!
My students sometimes write haiku, and my son is good at it. I never do…haven’t done since high school. You are already a pro, I feel! Even your voice seem perfect for it. A wonderful word for it from one of the friends commenting! We are looking forward to more of this! I believe summer winds brings forth these talents!
Mmmmm….summer winds do seem to bring creativity to the fore. Does your son write haiku in English or Swedish? I am trying to imagine how the latter would sound. Beautiful I am sure.
I can hear bees busy song!
Song of spring, dear Gallivanta! 😃
I am glad you can hear them too! I hope the buzzing doesn’t disturb Malus’s nap time 😉
The white butterflies danced in my oregano patch all summer. You have brought back that delightful memory to me. I even have a video I never did anything with…
Do you think we may see the dancing butterflies, now you have been reminded? It’s lovely and warm here today and the monarchs are back amongst the oregano and the neighbouring swan plants.
Mmm, maybe. Not tonight, though. Too tired and sniffly. The iris painting is up, though. I’ve enjoyed our chat. 🙂 Warmly, Brenda
Thanks Brenda. Enjoyed chatting too. Rest well.
Trust you to jump right in with both feet AND your ears! 🙂 Love how you are exploring the world of poetry for yourself, and taking us along with you for the ride. I love the images you put with your words, and the fun you are having in crafting some excellence. You go, girl!
Yay, thank you! And when I get tired I can rest on your lovely benched haiku; though not yet because it would be a bit cold 😉
Hmm, yes. I’d wait a month or two for that…. 🙂
Yep! Even if I wore the thickest snow pants it wouldn’t be pleasant!
Today was warmer and the sunshine set the snow in diamonds – lovely. It’s not all bad….
It never is, really, even though I like to grumble a bit now and then.
I hear you, I hear you.
I agree with friends here: you are off and running! It’s beautiful, both for the eyes and the ears!
Thank you Tiny. I am greatly encouraged.
I’ve always enjoyed Ellen Grace Olinger’s blog, and it’s fun to see how you are trying your hand at Haiku.
Ellen’s blog is a haven of peace and loveliness. And I love the way she is quietly encouraging haiku through a number of different platforms.
Well done Gallivanta 😀 Here’s the Japanese version by Google Translate. Go for it !! Ralph xox 😀
Ralph! You are GENIUS 😉 Love the look of my haiku. Now how about the sound?
Ah. The sound !! When I said “Go for it !!” I meant for you to recite your poem in Japanese. It’s easy. A bit like karaoki. I’ve given you the words my friend. Go for it !! 😉 hehe
Ah! Right…I am on my own now. If I ever make an acceptable sound with this, I will record it! Do not hold your breath, however.
😆 Whew !! *breathing again*
I’m a 2 day old follower of your blog which also happens to be the only one I do follow.! Your gentle perceptive approach, and appreciation and gratitude for the small things in life resonate with me, too. I liked your haiku very much,and my oregano flowers are abuzz with bees as are the pink and white clovers in my lawn. I think you’re right about the importance of consciously saying the words of haiku. Your second and third lines drip with bee sounds/humming and the busyness of honey making, while I feel the hot stillness of a summer’s afternoon. The first line sets the context with the miracle/myriad of such tiny flowers being the basis of such industry. Special.
Thank you for your kind words. It’s lovely to see/ understand my haiku through your eyes and ears. From the very, very little that I know about haiku, it seems to me to be a type of poetry that is welcoming and inclusive of the reader and the writer….just a thought 🙂 Isn’t it wonderful to watch the bees in the oregano? Unfortunately, my tiny lawn is without clover; it sprouts the odd borage plant though, and some rocket!!!! I am so glad that your first dip in to the blogging world is a positive experience. Welcome 🙂
Gallivanta, that’s really beautiful! I love the last line and the way the haiku shifts from sight to sound and then to taste. Very satisfying.
I enjoyed the video about haiku too; very informative thank you.
Juliet, this will probably seem a bit silly, but I hadn’t realised that I had done that till you pointed it out! And I thought I had thought it all through so carefully 😀
I hear beauty~
You are a-tuned to it 🙂
Listening to you brought a HUGE smile to my face…a smile…because of the pleasure I received in hearing your voice for the very first time. What a wonderful idea to record yourself. 🙂 🙂
It’s the strangest thing to hear one’s own voice. Do I hear what you hear? Keep on smiling and I will smile too 🙂
That’s an interesting video to be sure, thanks so much for sharing it. (And for linking to my blog!) 🙂
I was fascinated by the video! And by your haiku, too.
Your s sounds very nice soft and sunny. I am not goo d at poetry and things with sylables in a foreign language is for me impossible. It is nice to read other peoples though. I like the fact that there is a season related word in it and nature really.
There is so much to this tiny poetic form that one could become lost in it forever, I suspect! I found it quite difficult to read my haiku out loud; to get my haiku to sound the way I wanted it to 🙂
Well done, the words are beautiful and your voices is mellifluous. I don’t really know anything about haiku so the video was a great introduction to the art form. 😉
Wasn’t the haiku video fun to watch? Mellifluous…..such a beautiful word ..”.From Latin mellifluus (“flowing like honey”), from mel (“honey”) + fluō (“flow”). “
Oh honey bees a-buzzing in your garden. That gives me hope. They are so, so absent here and I have plenty of bee attracting flowers. I love your photos – I can smell summer from them.
I admire your public step into Haiku composition. What a glorious beginning here:-)
We had a beautiful day yesterday; monarch butterflies flying, bees buzzing. Today, the old southerly with drizzle. But we must be happy because everything is desperate for moisture. Did you hear/see that the bee industry will be carrying out a bee survey this year? http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/rural/235142/national-bee-health-survey-planned I wonder what they will discover. Also, I am wondering if you may have inconspicuous native bees secretly enjoying your garden http://www.teara.govt.nz/en/wasps-and-bees/page-4
My sister in Cairns thought her garden was devoid of bees until she realised that the little black insects here and there were native Australian bees! Thanks for encouraging my haiku performance 🙂
This is a wonderful post! Now you have given me a whole new perspective and journey to pursue. Thank you!! Thank you!!!
Falling, falling, falling now…
Matsuo Bashō, Japanese Haiku
Delicious! Is this where we bring in Handel’s water music? Perhaps a little too jaunty? I hope you clicked on the word Honey and discovered the secret within.
I did indeed!!! You are simply remarkable!!! 🙂
I don’t know why I made it hidden really; just something to do with the hidden depths of the haiku and mystery of honey. Their many layers. And your recordings bring harmony/connection to the visual and oral aspects of poetry. I can’t seem to get the same clarity out of Soundcloud as you do.
I had to change my headset! And then I speak in a lower voice or else my voice bellows forth – rather scary sound!!! 🙂
I could do with more of a bellow!
such a beautiful voice!
and a deeply delicious h a i k u.
Smiling and waving back. And, I have some lilac ribbon in my hand as I wave. Bought some today 😉
the book really does love lilac.
Thanks for the video on Haiku. I especially enjoyed the comment about the positive and negatives spaces. These short poems are such challenges. I hope that you keep exploring their power and simplicity. Truly, the oral tradition of reading seems to be a ritual of the past, except with children and grandchildren. Poetry readings do extend this different way to experience the written word. Maybe you can find a group of readings.
It was a fascinating little video, wasn’t it? I expect our wonderful library system has poetry readings from time to time. I must look out for them.
“I forget that the noise of poetry is as important as the way it looks” – it’s true, and makes me think I ought to attend poetry readings more often. I remember writing haikus in grade school. I’m sure all we understood as students was the count of the syllables, however – we didn’t grasp the rhythm of them, and I don’t recall reading them aloud.
I loved (the sound of) your haiku – looking forward to more! 🙂
Thank you Sheryl. I remember reading Shakespeare aloud in classes at school. We probably read poetry aloud too but I don’t remember that. And we didn’t do haiku writing or reading. I don’t think I have ever been to a poetry reading.
I completely agreed, the noise (sound?) of the poetry is as important (or even more important) than what it looks. It likes one of the ingredients in a fabulous dish. Your sweet voice reading the haiku did away of the need for the actual look of the poem.
Ok, lastly I think you went beyond the definition of “look” in the poetry. Those pictures are just as sweet…
YC, I love your idea of poetry as a fabulous dish with wonderful ingredients. And I am glad my voice made a sweet noise 🙂
so true – we forget this as since the renaissance we have started to read in our minds instead of out loud! alliteration is not the same in our heads is it? Keep it up Gallivanta – i think you have a knack for this!
Thank you 🙂 Alliteration is much more fun out of our heads. And just so I am not always talking to myself, I have recited my haiku to my little dog. He seemed to appreciate it. A little treat helped his appreciation!
Yes, I hear what you hear
Flapping sound of bees wings
I saw the bees and the flowers
And do I see a new profile photo?
YES !!! 😀
I approve 🙂
Thank you so much, Gallivanta. 😉
I haven’t listened yet (it’s early and not everyone is out of bed!) but the words and images are perfect together. I once did a lot of reading on the oral tradition and the ways “singers of tales” used sound and formula to create and remember complicated poetry. It makes perfect sense that a haiku that appealed on multiple levels would be memorable.
That’s true; I am thinking now about how we teach children action songs which help them to learn a variety of skills…and most of us can still remember those action songs from our early years. Did you catch my reference to the Christmas song “Do you hear what I hear?” which apparently was a plea for peace at the time of the Cuban Missile Crisis. I am not sure that it is a protest song but it has that sound to it and a formula that helps to keep its message in our heads.
I did catch the reference but had never heard about the song being connected to any real-world event–how fascinating!
It is! Quite a different sort of hymn.
Oh that is just amazingly beautiful and yes, honey to my ears.
When I was acting, I became specialized in Shakespeare. One of the reasons was that I was transfixed by the sounds of his language. Not only the iambic pentameter but the way say, vowels communicated emotions while syllables could either push the thought forward or stop it cold.
I think that your haiku is a wonderful example of both of those ideas.
Heather, your words are music to my ears. And the magic of Shakespeare’s sounds/words is that they seem to translate beautifully in to other languages….intriguing. Do you think we may have a little sample of your Shakespearean voice, one day?
Ah well ….I heard you conversing with Ben……that was treat enough for me 🙂
And… you’re off and running! Great research – you’ve done your homework.
Thanks to your encouragement I am! Are you ready for a marathon? 😀 😀
Go for it!