(reblog), haiku

Fragment & Phrase in Haiku

This haiku in fragment/phrase style honors the memory of Jane Reichold in several ways.
– Gray button (upper left corner) reveals widgets, –
– above post (on phone) or beside it (on desktop). –

Many of the haiku I like have 2 contrasting parts (called fragment and phrase by Jane Reichold) in a juxtaposition that may seem incongruous at first.  (Much of the fun comes from realizing that the juxtaposition does make sense, perhaps because one part clarifies the other.)  After quoting from Jane’s essay Fragment & Phrase Theory, Kristjaan Panneman asks readers of Carpe Diem Theme Week (6) 5 “Ask Jane …” to honor her memory with a haiku in this style.  My attempt is a haiku with

  • the clearest fragment/phrase boundary of any haiku that I have written, plus
  • a celebration of her essay’s emphasis on pluralism and pragmatism, with
    • a line adapted from her essay in my phrase part;
    • a few departures from common practice that work well here.

Ad honorem: Jane Reichold, 1937-2016
|It is as she said:
|rules should not be carved in stone.
|Bamboo bends with wind.


The image used in this post has been resized from the original by Skip Allen; U can see the original in full glory by clicking on the link in item #1 below.  The original post using the image is gratefully reblogged (in effect) by item #2.

  1. Bamboo (bending with wind)
  2. Bamboo on Silk

15 thoughts on “Fragment & Phrase in Haiku

  1. It is funny that a haiku has so many rules! The first time I’d written a haiku was last summer, but I researched quite a bit about the form and did many exercises. I’ve learned a lot from this website:


    Also, haiku is nature linked to human nature. Senryu is similar to haiku, but it deals with satire and pokes fun of human nature. I don’t differentiate the two in my poetry; although to be accurate and precise, I probably should.

    Fragment and phrase are parts of haiku to which I’ve always attempted to adhere, and for the most part, I think I’ve done all right.

    Thanks for the link, Mel! I haven’t run across that particular website before, so I’ll add it to my references.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. My strong preference is to go with those who say that haiku is a form of poetry (with wiggle room about details like 5-7-5), w/o any restriction at all on the subject of a poem in the form.  We do not say that a sonnet is necessarily about one of Shakespeare’s sonnet subjects.

      The subject of a haiku is very often an experience in nature and rather often a wry take on human foibles.  Fine.  But U and I and others have written poems in haiku form on many other subjects.  Lumping all haiku subjects other than nature under the word “senryu” would be confusing, and perhaps offensive to somebody who writes a haiku that is neither about nature nor giggly.  Dreaming up a bunch of names other than “haiku” and “senryu” for haiku about courage (or evolution or platonism or …) would be a big waste of time.  So I hope U will continue to NOT try to differentiate haiku from senryu.  While the old haiku/senryu distinction may well be helpful when talking about Edo Period Japan, we do not live in that time and place.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I understand what you’re saying about haiku and sonnets. Adhering to the 5-7-5 rule is something I find to be challenging and fun. It also forces me to research the word(s) I’m using and finding a replacement (synonym) if I need to cut back on some syllables. I love that part of writing poetry; the research and the learning that never ends.

        You and I are the only ones I know who use punctuation in our haiku, and this is something that I learned from you. In traditional haiku, punctuation/capitalization isn’t often used, but that gives the poem a sense of balance and structure which I enjoy.

        No, Mel darling; no worries. I won’t differentiate between haiku and senryu; although the compartmentalizing part of me struggles with that, at times.

        Perfectly lovely haiku, by the way! I’ll get to your other post later tonight.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Enjoyed these comments guys! Thanks for the link Poet Rummager, I hadn’t seen that one. I have learned a LOT about haiku since Jane died and there have been so many posts and dedications to her. Kind of sad in a way that it didn’t happen before, but also uplifting that her life left such a mark and is echoing even now, and will no doubt for the ages.

    I do like the paradox that haiku has a form and there is a challenge to try and fit one’s thoughts into it but at the same time there is some flexibility. Where one draws the line is an interesting subject. I have seen 4 syllables on a “designated” 5 line. And it is accepted as haiku. Maybe in part because it is beautiful? But what about 3 lines? Okay. 2? Ah, maybe? 28? Nah. But where is the line? I guess we all decide for ourselves. Or do we? Perennial questions. What is art? Why is it art? Who decides?

    Thank you Jane.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hey just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Safari.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know.
    The design look great though! Hope you get the issue resolved soon. Many

    Liked by 1 person

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