Letter to the Editor: Haikus take talent

I found my self extremely offended, disgusted, and outraged while reading the paper this week. Those atrocities you tried to pass off has haiku’s were insulting. Anyone can string together seventeen syllables and call it a haiku.

…but a real haiku requires talent.

A haiku is meant to capture a single moment, it should create a strong image of that moment and leave you transfixed by that image. The traditional haiku requires the use of a”kigo”, or “season word” and I don’t think a single haiku in the queerlines paper had one.   Generally you use season words from the season you are in or entering. Secondly, haikusaren’t really supposed to be 17 syllables; this misconception is a sort-of translation error.In Japanese Haikus have 17 “on” meaning “sound” a phonetic unit so to speak, but not the equivalent of an English syllable. 17 “on” approximate to 12 syllables in English. Furthermore, haikus require expert use of juxtaposition, known as “kireji”, or “cutting word”. Here is a famous Haiku from the master and creator of the art, Matsuo Basho:

An old pond;

A frog jumps in–

The sound of water.

I don’t care about the literal content of the haiku, or the images, or the vulgarity…  I care about the art of writing a haiku that was butchered on March 26th. I expected more from the TQC/Arthur. Perhaps now that you know how to write a proper haiku you can practice (a lot) and try again.


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