The word Haiku reminds me of millions of awful micro poetic compositions that pass for as haikus in the blogosphere. The other day I came across a couple of such alleged haikus. I don’t remember the wordings but one was about the miserable office wage and another was about the boss who was an asshole.
Come on dear aspiring poet. Any micro poem is not a haiku even if it fulfills the condition of being of seventeen syllables. According to the Wikipedia page about English Haiku, the first element of a haiku is – ‘A focus on some aspect of nature or the seasons’. Maybe, our aspiring poet, being a Chetan Bhagat and Ekta Kapoor devotee, interpreted ‘nature’ as human nature and ‘season’ as a series of episodes in the office soap opera.
In addition to being of seventeen syllables and focusing on some aspects of nature or season, the haikus of prominent Japanese poets like Basho evoke the sublime in you due to their meditative, contemplative, and philosophical allusions even though they may describe very ordinary events. Here are a few of my favourite haikus (translated from the original Japanese)
Since my house burned down, I now own a better view of the rising moon Enviable leaves becoming so beautiful just before falling Scarecrows are the first heroes to fall in the rush of the Autumn wind What a pretty kite the beggar's children fly high above their hovel He is unknown the poet who sings the greatest of all songs -- spring
Haiku and spring remind me of the Cherry Blossoms that flower in their fullness in Spring and are inspiration for a million haikus so much so that the word flower has become synonymous with Cherry Blossom for the Japanese.
The other day I was watching a program on NHK (the official TV channnel of Japan) about Cherry Blossoms. Its flowering during the spring season is the most celebrated national event in Japan. No other country celebrates a natural phenomenon with such religious fervour.
I am yet to visit Japan. But my love affair with the country goes back to childhood days when Radio Japan was one of the staple diets (along with Binaca Geetmala) to ward off boredom during those long summer vacations. Of course, I don’t remember any of the contents now, but I do vaguely remember the feel good effect.
Among Asian nations, Japan is not only the most innovative country as far as technology is concerned, it is also a nation with the most developed sense of aesthetics. I will cover more of my aesthetic impressions about Japan in my coming posts.
Meanwhile, you may think of spending the idle hours of your weekend with my book which is available for free download till 3rd December.