Author Topic: The use of simile in haiku  (Read 20120 times)

AlanSummers

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #15 on: May 27, 2011, 06:14:03 AM »

Hi Gabi,

I read that but an earlier post from you seemed to contradict it so I wanted to be sure what was the final word.

So independently of Western poetics, Japanese poetry had already developed similes then?



Quote
I'm not sure, but you are either stating or suggesting that simile is a non-Japanese invention?

No, I am not suggesting this. Maybe you missed this part I had posted earlier:

But in the Japanese language, we do use the direct comparison  (simile)
... no gotoku ... のごとく, の如く / no gotoshi のごとし、の如し
in haiku, if the situation absolutely calls for it.

Gabi
http://wkdhaikutopics.blogspot.com/2008/07/metaphor.html


Your earlier quote [see below] included this:

There is no word like "like" or "as" to indicate a direct simily (as Cat has remarked).


I presume simily is a typo though?  Did you mean simile?

all my best,

Alan


Quote
on a bare branch
a crow settles
autumn dusk

Gabi, my question:
you will know if you read the original Japanese verse by Basho if it's a simile or not?

I will look for the Japanese first

kara eda ni karasu no tomari keri
aki no kure

There is the kireji (cutting word) keri at the end of line 2

There is no word like "like" or "as" to indicate a direct simily (as Cat has remarked).

This is a good example of a cutting word used in a Japanses haiku to combine two images (toriawase), and it is up to the translator to show this relationship to poets who do not read Japanese.

Here are some more examples of translations:
http://wkdkigodatabase03.blogspot.com/2007/11/autumn-dusk-aki-no-kure.html

Gabi

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Gabi Greve

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #16 on: May 27, 2011, 03:59:53 PM »
Quote
There is no word like "like" or "as" to indicate a direct simily (as Cat has remarked).

I presume simily is a typo though?  Did you mean simile?


kara eda ni karasu no tomari keri
aki no kure


There is the kireji (cutting word) keri at the end of line 2
There is no word like "like" or "as" to indicate a direct simily (as Cat has remarked).


Dear Alan, indeed simily is a spelling mistake, easily to be detected in this context, as you did.

And the sentence refers to this one haiku quoted by Basho.
It must be read in the context of this haiku explanation.


But in the Japanese language, we do use the direct comparison  (simile)
... no gotoku ... のごとく, の如く / no gotoshi のごとし、の如し
in haiku, if the situation absolutely calls for it.


This sentence refers to the Japanese language used in haiku, in a general way.
It must be read in that context.

Gabi
.
« Last Edit: May 27, 2011, 04:02:33 PM by Gabi Greve »

chibi575

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #17 on: May 29, 2011, 01:32:17 PM »
$.02

ONE of the many attractions I find in the Japanese hokku/haiku (expecially in the original Japanese) is the general rarity of direct simile or metaphor.  Of course, I realize I have a very limited experience in translating the Japanese, but, this lack of simile or metahor in the ones I have translated gives me a feeling of "the pristine" in the words of the Japanese poetry... these features I desire to use in my "newku", (eh?!).  So I shun both the simile and metaphor in the short poems I write and I find this technique more freeing and open for both the author and the reader (presuming my poems are ever read... hee hee).

a yellow leaf
strobes through shadow gaps:
Memorial Day Weekend

No simile... no metaphor... just as it happens (Memorial Day a seasonal event marking the beginning of summer for vacationers and the banning of dogs on beaches, at least here, until Labor Day).
知美

Lorin

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2011, 05:38:39 AM »
" In Japanese haiku, by using the cut marker carefully,
we can imply a comparison
without mentioning it directly." - Gabi

Yes, that's the point that Jane was teaching (in the quotations earlier in the thread) ... though overt simile has been a no-no in EL haiku, implied simile is fine  :) It is done in the Japanese and it can be done, and is done in English.

Though Cat's point as to whether it technically should still be called simile is valid, nevertheless it's a good teaching point. The implicit simile is working in Pound's much-anthologised 'In a Station of the Metro' :

            IN A STATION OF THE METRO

    The apparition of these faces in the crowd ;
    Petals on a wet, black bough.

(and I'm not going to argue whether this is a haiku or not, here...all I will say is that I have found it a great 'bridge' poem to show to people familiar with poetry, and writing it, within an introduction to  EL haiku)

In what way or ways might 'the apparition of these faces' be like 'petals on a wet, black bough'? Taking a subway station into account, with gas lighting (then, in Pound's time) or fluorescent lighting now, taking the black stretch of tunnel in an underground station and that chill wind that precedes and follows a train coming into the station, we have plenty to begin with. It is a simile with quite a few layers, but it's implied. It's left to the reader to find the similarities.

But overt simile does have it's place in EL poetry, if not in haiku at this time, and it is possible to use it well. The lyrics of Leonard Cohen's song, 'Bird On a Wire' uses simile superbly, to moving effect, imo.

( available by googling if anyone doesn't know them)

- Lorin



Nu Quang

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2011, 11:06:54 AM »
Hi Lorin,

Thank you for your input on the use of simile in haiku. I've seen a couple of published haiku (as to in which journal I can't remember) in which the poets used simile explicitly "as . . . as."  Anyway, I'll google Leonard Cohen.

Best,

Nu

Lorin

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2011, 06:21:52 PM »
Hi Nu,
           It might be good if you could find those EL haiku again & post them here for discussion. That way the extra problems of whether a translation which uses overt simile is accurately reflecting an overt simile in the original Japanese or not wouldn't have to come into it. I think I've seen a couple, too, but where I don't know.

- Lorin

Nu Quang

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2011, 08:31:34 AM »
Hi Lorin,

It's a good idea to have the haiku posted here for discussion. But, I have a question: could we use the other's work without their permissions?

Best,

Nu

John McManus

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Re: The use of simile in haiku
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2011, 02:14:38 PM »
Hi Nu, I would say if it is work that is already available on the net and you credit the poems properly there shouldn't be a problem.

warm regards,
John