Haiku or not

A forum that I frequent had a haiku thread (related to a haiku contest) and someone posted the following in response to the 5-7-5 syllable rule:

actually, no they don’t. that was a device brought to the west by Blythe. Japanese haiku are written in one line of 17 onji and the breaks are implied in the language. Due to the difference between onji and syllables though a 17 onji poem is much much shorter than a 17 syllable poem. 17 syllable poems tend to be far to weighted, and in fact often need to be padded with extra words detracting form the brevity of the poem, and ones ability to use the best words to convey experience. haiku isn’t intended to be a math problem though, and the 17 onji wasn’t so much a rule as it was a natural rhythm in the language. even the great haiku masters pitched these patterns when it suited the poem. in the west few (if any) haiku societies adhere to patterened syllabic rules, and tend to focus on the skill demonstrated in the poems. in any of the popular ‘haiku’ books out there, few if any true haiku appear, which is determined by the use of seasonal cue words, and the juxtapositon of images within the poem. what appears in books like cat-ku, redneck-ku and haiku for jews, have a closer connection to senryu (a haiku-like poem that relates more to the human realm than natural connection) even that has specfic qualities that have these pieces fall outside their scope. one wouldn’t write any old thing and claim it to be a sestina.

My response was:

I just wrote this verse
Using the Western meaning
Of a haiku poem

An End to Apple Chill

From tonight’s Chapel Hill Town Council Meeting

The Council passed a resolution to end the street fair. The resolution stated that the fair has grown to attract crowds of more than 30,000, challenging the abilities of Town staff and outside resources to effectively manage the event. There were shootings on Franklin Street, and roads remained congested for about five hours after the fair’s conclusion. The Council also requested a report on the social and financial impacts of Festifall and Halloween.

Justice Through Music

I found this organization today.

Justice Through Music Project is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization that uses famous musicians and bands to organize, educate and activate young people about the importance of civil rights and voting.

Sounds like a great idea, but the weird part is that one of the founders is “nationally known entertainment attorney Jeff Cohen.”

I ran across them because they are helping to promote Neil Young’s new album, “Living with War.” It is scheduled to be released over the internet in about a week (4/28: streaming, 5/2: download).

Here’s a preview review.

Words that Pop into My Head

I walked into the house from the garage this morning and I thought of fiddler crabs. I had just gotten back from the store with eggs and jelly, so I have no idea why I thought of fiddler crabs. And, while the words fiddler crabs popped into my head, it was actually hermit crabs I was thinking of.

When I was a kid and we went to the beach in the summertime, it was always cool to find these strange little crabs that lived in other animals shells. Every one was unique because of the type of shell it scavenged. Nowadays, you can buy hermit crabs at T-shirt shops. I think they are one dollar. It really is not the same experience as chasing this little crab down the beach. This is not meant to be an “in my day” post, but there are too many experiences these days where the fun and the task have been removed and people, especially children, as just given the result.

Another New Blog?

I just heard that on average 80,000 new blogs are created every day, and I just created another one this week. Sleeping Grace is a blog of daily pictures of Grace asleep. Each post only contains a simple title and a 500 pixel wide photo.

Since we never know where Grace will ultimately fall asleep, this has great potential. So far, she has been in her bed, but it is still pretty amusing (to me) to see a series of pictures of Grace asleep. The picture of her lying on the stack of pillows, and an offhand comment about it were the inspiration for the blog. That, plus the fact that she has slept in her closet, in a pile of stuffed animals and face down on the carpet in the hall. Good times definitely lay ahead.

Body Lotion

Today I went into a public restroom and there was a body lotion dispenser right next to the soap dispenser. I could understand them having hand lotion, but because it was called body lotion, I could just picture someone stripping naked and rubbing lotion all over their body. Yikes!

And it was lavender too.

When I was a kid…

There are all sorts of things that my kids are growing up with (or without). One of the most obvious is wireless and cellular phones. There has never been a time in their lives that we couldn’t a call from the car or a restaurant or a park, and it has been no big deal. But recently it occurred to me that they will not even be able to imagine that there was a time when people had to lick postage stamps.