Writing Haiku for Peace or as Protest What is Haiku? Haiku is a poetic form that originated in Japan hundreds of years ago and continues today. Haiku reflects many characteristics of the Japanese people such as their appreciation of tradition and their sensitivity to nature. Haiku is a thoughtful, unrhymed Japanese poem that attempts to
capture the essence of a moment in which nature is linked to human life. As one of the most important forms of traditional Japanese poetry, a well-written haiku creates tension between contrasting elements. Haiku uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the readers mind. It is like a tiny window into a scene much larger than itself Haiku Form
Syllable Count:: The poem consists of 17 syllables, a must in Japanese. Traditionally haiku is written in three lines, with five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line and five syllables in the third line; Kigo: The poem should indicate through a kigo, a seasonal word, the season in which the haiku is set. Often the kigo is not obvious and may therefore be implied;
Division: The poem contains a division between two contrasting parts, a certain imaginative distance should exist between the two sections, both of which must enrich the understanding of the other. Matsuo Bash (1644 -1694) Haiku originally began as a comic style of verse that was simple
to write. But in the late 1600s, Matsuo Basho changed haiku into a serious art form. His haiku, written according to strict rules, describe subjects in nature and contain a reference to a season of the year. These poems merely suggest ideas and feelings, and so the reader must use imagination to interpret them. Showing no sign of an early death
a cicadas voice Matsuo Basho Under the tree in the soup, salad, and everywhere cherry blossoms Matsuo Basho
A lightning flash and piercing the darkness a herons shriek Matsuo Basho A giant firefly flickers and then moves on Kobayashi Issa
Haiku for Peace and Haiku as Protest Haiku as Protest Many people have written haiku as a way of protesting against war and as a means of expressing their wishes for peace. Rick Black lived in Israel when he wrote the
following haiku. He used the haiku medium as a means of conveying the stark images of peace and war, of hope and fear and the way they blend together. purple bougainvillea beyond the barbed wire flowering wildly Rick Black
so joyously, a pair of doves flirting over a soldier's gravestone Rick Black rainbow's arc the old city's domed rooftops
still glistening Rick Black Haiku for Peace Following are some other examples of haiku, from the website Peace is a haiku song (http://peace.muralarts.org/haiku), that express individuals hope for peace and protest against war:
a hornet asleep maybe peace looks different than I thought it did KD, 23rd July 2013 though war is old is has not become wise Alice Walker, 23rd August 2012
Grandmothers, mothers daughters, each generation chants a hymn of hope Debjani Chatterjee, 23rd August 2012 The sprawling sound of peace sails on the wind A white butterfly
Sonia Sanchez, 23rd August 2012 Students Haiku for Peace and as Protest Destruction surrounds Tears and screams are shouted out No one understands. Katarina
Imagine a world With no sorrow or death And no more crying Sana I will write peace on your wings and you will fly, all over the world Sadako Sasaki
For Peace or as Protest? Now its your turn Write your own haiku for Peace or, as Protest.
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