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Jan's Poetry Class: Haiku

These lessons, by one of our most consistent FaithWriters' Challenge Champions, should not be missed. So we're making a permanent home for them here.

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Pat
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Postby Pat » Tue Oct 06, 2009 7:41 pm

Pooey! And I was counting! I think I was thinking of using the word "ride" instead of riding. :wink: It was just a typo. :mrgreen: It works, doesn't it?

And no period after the first line will look good.

Opalescent foam,
cradles broken bits of shell.
Seagulls ride the wind.


:mrgreen:

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Postby CatLin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:55 pm

glorybee wrote:
Pat wrote:Opalescent foam.
Cradles broken bits of shells
Seagulls riding the winds.


Pat, this is so pretty!

I'm wondering if you need the period at the end of the first line.

And I won't mention that the last line has 6 syllables...

But I can see and smell Florida when I read this...makes me want to fly down for a quick visit!


Ahhhhh. You're bringing back beach vacation memories, Pat! I'm feeling much more peaceful now. :)
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Postby CatLin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 8:58 pm

I'm warming up to writing "Red" too, so I thought I'd try another Haiku - the "off-beat" type. Then I logged in and read Steve's wonderful post, so I'm going to have another go at it. :D

Thirteen pounds of speckled black
Hurtle down the lane
Ten pins explode on contact


(Guess what I was doing tonight? :mrgreen: )
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Postby glorybee » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:01 pm

CatLin wrote:I'm warming up to writing "Red" too, so I thought I'd try another Haiku - the "off-beat" type. Then I logged in and read Steve's wonderful post, so I'm going to have another go at it. :D

Thirteen pounds of speckled black
Hurtle down the lane
Ten pins explode on contact


(Guess what I was doing tonight? :mrgreen: )


Cat, it's adorable and cute--and you got the syllable count mixed up. This is 7,5,7--but it's supposed to be 5,7,5. Oops.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby CatLin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:23 pm

glorybee wrote:
CatLin wrote:I'm warming up to writing "Red" too, so I thought I'd try another Haiku - the "off-beat" type. Then I logged in and read Steve's wonderful post, so I'm going to have another go at it. :D

Thirteen pounds of speckled black
Hurtle down the lane
Ten pins explode on contact


(Guess what I was doing tonight? :mrgreen: )


Cat, it's adorable and cute--and you got the syllable count mixed up. This is 7,5,7--but it's supposed to be 5,7,5. Oops.


:lol:

I was doing the 2nd part of the homework - going outside nature and playing with the syllable count.

:lol:

I guess I played way too much. BUT the juices started flowing, and I've started "Red" now!

I'm still planning to write a very serious haiku- can you tell more about "objective" and "subjective"? I'm not sure I understand the difference.

Love,
Cat
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Postby glorybee » Tue Oct 06, 2009 9:26 pm

Steven's really the expert on that, and I'm hoping he'll chime in--but the way I understand it, "objective" deals with things that are actually observed (or perhaps heard, felt, etc.), but "subjective" deals more with feelings, emotions, etc.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby CatLin » Tue Oct 06, 2009 11:32 pm

glorybee wrote:but the way I understand it, "objective" deals with things that are actually observed (or perhaps heard, felt, etc.), but "subjective" deals more with feelings, emotions, etc.


So ... Objective is an external stimulus and subjective is internal?
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Postby violin4jesus » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:03 am

glorybee wrote:Steven, would you please teach this class? Seriously--I'm not being sarcastic or facetious here. You have so much more knowledge than I do. Write to me; maybe I can hand this one over to you and find another one more suited to my skills...think about it.


No, Jan, I think you should teach the class....you're good at bringing complicated ideas "down to earth". I had to read his points a couple times over before I understood....plus I'd be afraid of the homework Steve would assign! :shock: I think it's fine for you to explain the lesson, and have his input on topics. Makes for interesting discussion anyway. :wink:

More fun I came up with in the shower today....:roll:

Really bad haiku....
A warning for all who read:
Author lacks a point.

:mrgreen:

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Postby swfdoc1 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:07 am

glorybee wrote: the way I understand it, "objective" deals with things that are actually observed (or perhaps heard, felt, etc.), but "subjective" deals more with feelings, emotions, etc.


Yes, that's it in a nut shell. "Objective" (in the haiku context) basically means related to the five senses. Some folks have said that the heart of haiku is showing, not telling. What good practice for writers! Also, avoiding subjective words will mean avoiding many types of adjectives and adverbs. More good practice for writers! The key is to use objective WORDS to create either an insight or a SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE. Beyond that it is hard to say much without going way deep. One website that provides some guidance on this and other haiku issues and that is pretty short is here.

However, if you read it, you will be introduced to the "haiku should not be limited 5-7-5" thing. Yes, yes, it's true, but I haven't wanted to let myself off that hook yet.

Unfortunately, I don't know of any websites that show draft haiku that use objective words, followed by re-writes using objective words. And it doesn’t help that when you read some of the really great haiku, the masters sometimes break this rule on purpose.

In addition to the example I gave in an earlier post (I changed "joy of mother's heart" to "a new mother's smile" and later "mother smiles"), maybe we can do a few with nature. One of the most famous haiku is :

Old pond...
frog jumps in
water's sound

Here are a few ruined versions EVEN THOUGH THEY MIGHT REPRESENT THE WRITER'S SUBJECTIVE RESPONSE:

Old pond...
a frog jumps in
delightful sound

OR

Old pond...
a frog jumps in
jarring sound

Or how about this one (a made up one of mine) about a deer emerging from the edge of the woods into a soybean field:

cautious deer peers out
soybeans draw, overcome fear
gun blast echoes loud

I think the subjective IMPACT is OK. Perhaps the reader gets an insight about temptation. Or perhaps a hunter has a subjective reaction. Or perhaps an animal lover or vegetarian has a reaction. BUT there is still a problem with subjective WORDS in the first two lines. How about:

deer at edge of woods
soybeans: one step, stop, two steps
gun blast echos loud

OK, an obvious but tempting one (mine again):

blue sky, yellow sun
eagle soars majestically
thunderhead rolls in

So get rid of majestically:

blue sky, yellow sun
eagle rides Fall thermals
thunderhead rolls in

One last one--another temptation (putting the emotion in the third line):

kittens nurse, then sleep
round bellies, quiet purring
complete contentment

How do you fix it? I don't know. Besides the emotion in the last line, there's also no juxtaposition or "ah-ha" and no season word. Ignoring the fact that I am making this up instead of observing it, maybe:

kittens nurse, then sleep
round bellies, quiet purring
field mouse scurries past

Or (just pretend I was watching kittens all day), to get more seasonal (and changing from kittens to kitten),

kitten nurses, then sleeps
round belly, quiet purring
dragonfly on nose

These examples are not great, but I hope you can see the difference between objective and subjective in a bit of context.
Steve
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Postby swfdoc1 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 12:15 am

violin4jesus wrote:No, Jan, I think you should teach the class....you're good at bringing complicated ideas "down to earth". I had to read his points a couple times over before I understood....plus I'd be afraid of the homework Steve would assign! :shock: I think it's fine for you to explain the lesson, and have his input on topics. Makes for interesting discussion anyway. :wink:


I agree Jan should keep teaching the class . . and I've already told her so. It's not just that I can't afford the time (which is certainly true), but it's also that as you say, Leah, she's so good at bringing things down to where it's understandable by everyone. And that's just one of the things that makes her such an incredible teacher!
Steve
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"When the Round Table is broken every man must follow Galahad or Mordred; middle
things are gone." C.S. Lewis
“The chief purpose of life … is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all the means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks. To do as we say in the Gloria in Excelsis ... We praise you, we call you holy, we worship you, we proclaim your glory, we thank you for the greatness of your splendor.” J.R.R. Tolkien

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Postby Colswann1 » Wed Oct 07, 2009 4:46 am

Here goes Jan - my attempted.

Icy chrystals surrender.
Thawed, by natures source of light.
A mutual connection.

Glad you are back with your class.(This is not part of the un-rhymed poem).
Colin Swann

Jesus’ love is constant and never wavers.

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Postby glorybee » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:19 am

violin4jesus wrote:Really bad haiku....
A warning for all who read:
Author lacks a point.

:mrgreen:


I love it! Made for my first morning smile.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:22 am

Steven, thanks for your examples of objective and subjective words. That helps a lot!

I love the one with the dragonfly.
Jan Ackerson

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Postby glorybee » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:29 am

Colswann1 wrote:Icy chrystals surrender.
Thawed, by natures source of light.
A mutual connection.


Hi, Colin!

This puts a nice, chilly image in my mind, and I love thinking about the "connection".

I think your syllables are just a tad "off", though.

Ice crys-tals sur-ren-der (6)
Thawed by na-ture's source of light (7)
A mu-tu-al con-nec-tion (7)

Remember that a haiku should be 5,7,5. British pronunciation may account for some of the differences (How do you pronounce "mutual"?), but not enough; you're a few syllables over in lines 1 and 3.

Care to attempt a revision?

The concept of ice crystals "surrendering" is really fine. Good job!
Jan Ackerson

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Postby yvonne » Wed Oct 07, 2009 6:34 am

glorybee wrote:Steven, thanks for your examples of objective and subjective words. That helps a lot!

I love the one with the dragonfly.


Between you and Steve, we will definitely improve our poetry skills.

I think I understand the OBJECTIVE vs. the SUBJECTIVE. Objective is observing- subjective implies opinion.

(side note to Steve- I wish we could use poetry in our CWF contest, but seeing your contribution here, you'd win it hands down!)

Vonnie

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