Wednesday, 12 September 2012



Haiku: poem that usually consists of 5-7-5 morae

Mora (plural moras or morae) is a unit of sound used in phonology that determines syllable weight

1.This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a kireji ("cutting word") between them, a kind of verbal punctuation mark which signals the moment of separation and colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.

2.Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.
^ Shirane, Haruo. Traces of dreams: landscape, cultural memory, and the poetry of Bashō. Stanford University Press, 1998. ISBN 978-0-8047-3099-0 p100

3. kigo (seasonal reference), usually drawn from a saijiki (歳時記 "year time chronicle), an extensive but defined list of such words. The majority of kigo, but not all, are drawn from the natural world. This, combined with the origins of haiku in pre-industrial Japan, has led to the inaccurate impression that haiku are necessarily nature poems.

web #1
lots of different translations

Furuike ya 
kawazu tobikomu 
mizu no oto

-- Basho

Literal Translation

Fu-ru (old) i-ke (pond) ya, 
ka-wa-zu (frog) to-bi-ko-mu (jumping into) 
mi-zu (water) no o-to (sound)

web #2: japanese text

Reading list:

  • A Haiku Handbook; William J. Higginson and Penny Harter, Kodansha International, 1989
  • Haiku in English; Harold G. Henderson, Tuttle, 1967
  • Getting Started with Haiku; John Bird, HaikuOz.

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