Author Topic: punctuation marks  (Read 14917 times)

Don Baird

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #15 on: December 14, 2010, 11:39:36 AM »
What a great thread!  Thanks for bringing the subject up.  It is always a good one to plow through once in awhile.  I'm one to think that less is more regarding punctuation in haiku.  And yet, I find myself using it more than I thought I would.  :)  What I do these days is attempt to keep the haiku in tact without punctuation but, after several tries, I begin to work punctuation into the ku.

I like ambiguity in haiku and puncuation has a tendency to reduce that effect.  imho  So, we have to be careful that punctuation isn't taking away a bit of the resonance of the ku.

Thanks again for the great thread, everyone!

all my best,

Don
I write haiku because they're there ...

through
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spring!

chibi575

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #16 on: December 18, 2010, 06:20:33 PM »
I remember back in the day, as they say, I used ~ exclusively to represent where I prefered "pause" or "cut", then, an editor told me this drove her nuts because in the editing world "~" caused mixed interpretations (she was not specific or I can't remember the exact reason).  So, I changed to "--", "..."  and the occasional ":", but, I stopped sending to that editor, too.

There was at one time a semi-standard for kireji (cutting word or phrase) to English symbology:

: was "ya"
-- was "kana"

I've forgotten the rest but there were six or seven in the list (does any members remember this?)

Anyway, you seem to have the knack naturally... so go with that until further authority can specify.

OBTW send to a variety of editors and experiment just for fun  ;D
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Don Baird

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2010, 08:32:24 PM »
hmmmm I remember seeing that.  Now... to find it again.  ::)
I write haiku because they're there ...

through
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spring!

chibi575

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2011, 08:44:59 AM »
There is a good discussion of "punctuation" in robin d. gill's book, "Rise, Ye Sea Slugs", pages 446 and 447.  Robin has translated Japanese for going on 30 years; and, in my opinion is one of the best and most insightful authors on Japanese short poems, both, hokku and haiku.  I recommend his books.  His website link:

http://www.paraverse.org/newbooks.htm

Here are the pages through google books:

http://books.google.com/books?id=hFWpECE_RtwC&dq=Rise+ye+sea+slugs&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&source=gbs_vpt_read

PS I hope the administration will allow a bit of what may be considered "spam":

I encourage supporting Robin's efforts. As far as I know, Robin's sole income is his books... as he can attest, his income is meager as a translator/author of a somewhat limited market of IPOOH (In Praise of Olde Haiku); eventhough, this his passion.
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Don Baird

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2011, 10:47:42 AM »
Great info Chibi.  Thanks a lot!  I'll check the links/books out.

Don

:)
I write haiku because they're there ...

through
the hole of a cheerio,
spring!

AlanSummers

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #20 on: January 11, 2011, 02:47:56 PM »
I've bought several of Robin's books.  They are fantastic, and worth every penny.  I can certainly endorse them, as they are highly educational, and inspiring, and full of humour at the same time.

Alan

Kat Creighton

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #21 on: June 22, 2011, 02:53:24 PM »
Hi Josie,

I've just come across this topic and it got me to thinking about my own choices in punctuation. I've never looked for or studied rules regarding punctuation in haiku. When I first started studying haiku I tried to avoid punctuation altogether but found it often left too much ambiguity. Although we like to leave something to the reader's imagination, our message still needs to be somewhat clear.

The examples below are my own haiku except where noted.

My personal rules are not really rules at all but more about flow and feeling. Chibi mentioned the tilde "~". I use this often (and grammatically incorrect I think) when my haiku has to do with motion, floating, wind or water. It is more of a visual choice than grammatical. I rarely see it used by published haijin but I am rather attached to that little wavy dash.

ignoring
the fork in the road ~
summer breeze

As Sandra mentioned, I too use ellipses when I want to separate but continue a thought. In a haiku relating to a path or steps the ellipses mimics the feeling of continuing on.

evening walk...
the beachcomber savors
the last light

And the dash gives a strong definite break.

42nd Street station -
the assault rifles
still startle me

There are times when the haiku has a strong central pivot and no punctuation is necessary. Jane Reichhold gives a perfect example of this in her book Writing and Enjoying Haiku (although she uses it as an example of contrast):

long hard rain
hanging in the willows
tender new leaves

In Jane's haiku both the long hard rain and the tender new leaves hang in the willows, no need to separate anything here.

Josie, I've seen a lot of your haiku and I don't see any reason for you to fret over your punctuation choices. I enjoy so much of what you write. We all continue to study and practice and our preferences change over time.

Kat

AlanSummers

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #22 on: June 23, 2011, 05:34:18 AM »
Hi Kat,

Good post !;-)

I must say I'm not a fan of the tilde and believe it's grammatically incorrect, as you mentioned.

I find it a distraction.

Many haiku do not require punctuation if the syntax and semantics are clear, and there are two types of ambiguity:

1) The reader is not included, and simply doesn't know what is happening or what is meant

2) The haiku isn't closed down to just a simple single surface of meaning, and we get more of a vertical axis happening.


I think when Josie originally posted, it was a long time ago, and often newcomers to haiku are surprised about the lack of punctuation as in no period/end stops; commas etc...

I try not to use much punctuation nowadays and too many dashes and ellipsies can make haiku look the same, especially if you are considering a collection such as entering the Snapshot Press Collection Competition(s): http://www.snapshotpress.co.uk

I feel there's rarely a need for an N-dash - or an M-dash – and find double dashs -- a distraction too.

I didn't feel there was a need for an obvious visual prompt for a break here:

lemon balm
I kiss the lost cities better
on a makeshift map

Publications credits: Asahi Shimbun (June 2011)


But used an ellipsis for obvious reasons here:

netsuke...
the hare with amber eyes
jumps back in again

Publications credits: Mainichi Shimbun (May 2011)

all my best,

Alan


Hi Josie,

I've just come across this topic and it got me to thinking about my own choices in punctuation. I've never looked for or studied rules regarding punctuation in haiku. When I first started studying haiku I tried to avoid punctuation altogether but found it often left too much ambiguity. Although we like to leave something to the reader's imagination, our message still needs to be somewhat clear.

The examples below are my own haiku except where noted.

My personal rules are not really rules at all but more about flow and feeling. Chibi mentioned the tilde "~". I use this often (and grammatically incorrect I think) when my haiku has to do with motion, floating, wind or water. It is more of a visual choice than grammatical. I rarely see it used by published haijin but I am rather attached to that little wavy dash.

ignoring
the fork in the road ~
summer breeze

As Sandra mentioned, I too use ellipses when I want to separate but continue a thought. In a haiku relating to a path or steps the ellipses mimics the feeling of continuing on.

evening walk...
the beachcomber savors
the last light

And the dash gives a strong definite break.

42nd Street station -
the assault rifles
still startle me

There are times when the haiku has a strong central pivot and no punctuation is necessary. Jane Reichhold gives a perfect example of this in her book Writing and Enjoying Haiku (although she uses it as an example of contrast):

long hard rain
hanging in the willows
tender new leaves

In Jane's haiku both the long hard rain and the tender new leaves hang in the willows, no need to separate anything here.

Josie, I've seen a lot of your haiku and I don't see any reason for you to fret over your punctuation choices. I enjoy so much of what you write. We all continue to study and practice and our preferences change over time.

Kat


chibi575

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Re: punctuation marks
« Reply #23 on: June 23, 2011, 06:07:54 AM »
English is not Japanese.  Sorry for the statement of the obvious, but, punctuation is different between the two languages, especially in the haiku and ELH.

Use English punctuation as just that.  I feel this a fundemental approach.  Experimental approaches should be encouraged, although, not to the extreme, I feel (may eat those words). 

I like use of the "!" to express emphasis and closure in English, also, borrow from the chess notations (!?, ?!) once in a while (read rarely).  I agree with Al, to a degree, that some punctuation can be a distraction and resolves unnecessarily poetic ambiquity (that's a whole other discussion).  All in all, as a short poem poet gathers experience, the choice of punctuation can become a matter of style.  (My muse seems to think in terms of "... " to represent the emotional touchstone of the moment, with a penchant at times to end with "!".)

Be that as it may... exploration (for both the editors out there and the poets feeding them) is my hardy recommendation (so says my muse...)!?

ciao... chibi
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