Author Topic: cliché in haiku  (Read 11605 times)

AlanSummers

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2013, 03:17:05 AM »
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The Sword of Cliché: Choosing a Topic
by David Grayson

http://www.hsa-haiku.org/frogpond/2011-issue34-1/essay.html




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Scott Terrill

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2014, 02:24:10 AM »
An old pond ku

借景
in a letter from Minami Tadao
Basho’s frog

:)

I don't get much interest in this ku but I like it:)
« Last Edit: December 24, 2014, 11:42:17 PM by Scott Terrill »

Carl

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #17 on: April 18, 2015, 06:35:08 AM »
Hi Alan

I enjoyed reading this post very much :0)

I hope that what follows is of some use to move the discussion forward.

In my extremely limited haiku experience what I have noticed about my haiku is that cliches slip in when I am imagining a haiku moment as opposed to experiencing a haiku moment and simply recording it. In the latter even cliches seem to sound fine. In the former every word seems a cliche.

In western writing the advice to write what you know translates very well into write what you are experiencing.


Perhaps the exhortation to simply write what is happening there and now will overcome these problems. For me the reason for writing haiku is to be more aware (in both Japanese and English senses of the word) at every moment and not simply to produce poems for distribution. It deepens my practice and allows me to enjoy the world around me more. If a semi decent verse springs out of it fine, if not, I still have the moment.

My haiku experiences are a constant battle between stamping on my ego that simply wants to send out another haiku into the world and my aware-ness  that simply wants to let the moments be.

Hope this all makes sense :0.

Regards

Carl


AlanSummers

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #18 on: April 18, 2015, 08:25:24 AM »
Hi Carl,

Hi Alan

I enjoyed reading this post very much :0)


Thanks for adding to the discussion.


Quote
I hope that what follows is of some use to move the discussion forward.

In my extremely limited haiku experience what I have noticed about my haiku is that cliches slip in when I am imagining a haiku moment as opposed to experiencing a haiku moment and simply recording it. In the latter even cliches seem to sound fine. In the former every word seems a cliche.

Thanks for adding to the discussion.

[/quote]

So, cliché presently feel okay if the haiku is built around a realised experience but not if the haiku is purely fictive?

Quote

In western writing the advice to write what you know translates very well into write what you are experiencing.

I do agree that if we write what we know well, we are bound to include actually-realised experiences and it will, or should, come across as authentic, and there shouldn't be a reliance on cliché in that case.

I wonder if cliché is an either/or a part reason around insecurity, meaning to please, and a mistaken idea that we would be a in group-animal scenario where we are safe and included?

It really is a challenge for us to move away from cliché, although I'm sure there's exceptions when we can incorporate one with tongue-in-cheek. :)


Quote

Perhaps the exhortation to simply write what is happening there and now will overcome these problems.


It's not the only way to write, in general, of course, or with haiku, but to write "what is happening there and now" interests and excites me as it's usually not allowed in the News programs for example which are heavily censored and 'spun'.   I don't like spin, which we also read in history.   It's often why poetry is feared.  Japanese haiku writers were tortured, some died, because they wouldn't write pro-war haiku, when the Emperor was being bullied by corporate entities to enter WWII for instance, and Mrs Bush Jnr's attitude and harm done to poets who were not pro-war.

Quote
For me the reason for writing haiku is to be more aware (in both Japanese and English senses of the word) at every moment and not simply to produce poems for distribution. It deepens my practice and allows me to enjoy the world around me more. If a semi decent verse springs out of it fine, if not, I still have the moment.

That's certainly a strong case for avoiding what's already been said, but to tackle your own moments of experience day to day.   That's what a discerning reader will look for, at least I hope so.

Quote

My haiku experiences are a constant battle between stamping on my ego that simply wants to send out another haiku into the world and my aware-ness  that simply wants to let the moments be.

Hope this all makes sense :0.

Regards

Carl

That's an excellent closing statement.  Of course our ego will show through, but it needn't be shouting, and certainly not shouting me me me I'm over here! :)

It is a poet's duty to send out poems, into the world, and often the world won't be interested, but that we keep reporting from the front line regardless.

We need to restrain using any tired stock phrases, which might feel they gain access to a larger audience, but will that audience keep coming back to that poem, or just like it once but never revisit, never allow its impact to grow on them, grow into them?

We need to distance ourselves from cliché and tired over-recognised stock phrases so that there's just the poem, and an audience to discover that they do have a connection, and it needn't be by rapidly recognised common-a-garden references but fresh paint on the fence that we can't sit on, or our readers.

I'm delighted that you added such a strong contribution to this thread, I really appreciate it.

warmest regards,

Alan

Maya

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #19 on: April 18, 2015, 10:32:42 PM »
Hi, Allan!

I enjoyed reading the thread too.

In my opinion experience by itself cannot prevent us from writing a cliched haiku. Most of the moments I experience are just like the moments many other people have experienced. It would be a good idea when I can't find a fresh approach not to write a haiku, a poem, take a photo or what so ever, but sometimes I simply can't resist  ;D

As you talked about Basho's frog, here is one I wrote years ago:

dusty road...
a green toad flattened
into silence

Credit: WHR, 2008, Shintai

I hope I managed to freshen the cliche. And yes, it was written out of experience.

Since English is my third language, when I started writing I realized that we were taught mostly cliches at school. I think it's much more easier to recognize cliches in one's native language and to try to move away from them. I try to read as much as I can and I also use google to see how often people use a particular phrase - I find that very helpful.

I sometimes grow very tired of certain haiku "constructions" like this one:

something -
the blah blah blah
of another thing

But we have limited space and limited number of versions so it is not easy to avoid them.

Maya Lyubenova, Plovdiv, Bulgaria

AlanSummers

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #20 on: April 20, 2015, 05:17:59 AM »
Hi Maya,

Allan's not here, so I'll speak on his behalf. ;)

Hi, Allan!

I enjoyed reading the thread too.

In my opinion experience by itself cannot prevent us from writing a cliched haiku. Most of the moments I experience are just like the moments many other people have experienced. It would be a good idea when I can't find a fresh approach not to write a haiku, a poem, take a photo or what so ever, but sometimes I simply can't resist  ;D

Thanks for enjoying the thread. :)

We default to cliché I guess because we are group animals and feel safer, perhaps, using group phrase usage?

I often take photos with my iPhone as a record, and a visual note, to check up the name of a plant etc... Also, it's valuable source material for shahai. :)


Quote

As you talked about Basho's frog, here is one I wrote years ago:

dusty road...
a green toad flattened
into silence

Credit: WHR, 2008, Shintai

I hope I managed to freshen the cliche. And yes, it was written out of experience.


Nothing wrong with writing other than an actually realised experience, otherwise they'd be no novels in the world. ;)

Before the New Romantics it was accepted practice in Japan and outside to strongly allude.  Even Basho did this by only changing one single 'word' in a classic haikai verse.

I'm reminded of the season when cane toads flood the road, and some drivers enjoyed making sure they could squeesh as many as possible.

Quote

Since English is my third language, when I started writing I realized that we were taught mostly cliches at school. I think it's much more easier to recognize cliches in one's native language and to try to move away from them. I try to read as much as I can and I also use google to see how often people use a particular phrase - I find that very helpful.

Often people where English is their second or third language produce the freshest use of English, perhaps because they don't know as many clichéd phrases perhaps?  The clichés I was taught in French were so bad they were unuseable.

That's the key, to read as much as we can.   I often read a hundred or more haiku a week, sometimes more when I can.

Research is always invaluable for any kind of writer, we are in isolation, and if we want our words to be read more widely, we also have to read and study more widely.   Good advice for those who want to write in absolute isolation where we are more likely to pick up street cliché anyway.


Quote

I sometimes grow very tired of certain haiku "constructions" like this one:

something -
the blah blah blah
of another thing

But we have limited space and limited number of versions so it is not easy to avoid them.

Yes, too many, and I catch myself out doing too many frag/phrase.   We need to think in terms of completing a collection of our poems, and variety is king and queen. :-)

Thanks for the post.  I'm delighted the post has been refreshed.

warmest regards,

Alan

Seaview (Marion Clarke)

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Re: cliché in haiku
« Reply #21 on: June 04, 2017, 03:06:22 AM »
Good grief, how time passes, Alan. I've just come back to this thread via the mentoring section and can't believe it was five years ago that I joined in on the discussion. However, I have remembered your advice in this time but must admit that I may have snuck in the word "old" when I couldn't find an alternative!  ;D

Great to come back to this topic as it will always be relevant. Oh, and your heron comments have just inspired my first ku on the subject in five years ...

clumsy since birth
I grow up to become
a heron


:D :D :D

marion


 

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