With The Heron’s Nest Editor Fay Aoyagi and Haijin Chad Lee Robinson
Early on in my haiku and haibun journey, editors rejected my haibun and several advised me to read haiku, said that I’d not be able to write a good haibun until I had mastered the haiku part of haibun’s prose-haiku partnership. I had already looked at the many definitions of the two related genres, but found definitions lacking, particularly the formulaic ones like 5-7-5 syllables in 3 lines, short-long-short.
So I read a lot of haiku, both those of the Japanese masters and of contemporary haijin who managed to get their haiku published and learned I simply didn’t get much out of them. Indeed, I mostly wondered why the editors picked the haiku featured in their journals.
I learned that Haiku are not only difficult to write, but they are also difficult to read and understand, to “get the poetic spark,” so to speak. A problem was that I had a tendency to read them once quickly and to read too many at a time. In short, I was glancing at them, not engaging in deep reading.
I decided that in order to better understand haiku and thus, to be better able to write a worthy haiku and haibun, I had to first hone my reading skills, so that I could appreciate and understand why the editors selected some and not others, and particularly not mine. And that’s what this three part series is about – How to do a deep reading of haiku as a first step in learning how to compose haiku.
Continue reading -> Part 1