How to read and understand haiku Part 1


Translator from Japanese poetry of haiku treatise, its history, translations, and about why it is beautiful.

Genre haiku comes from another classic genre the tank five-line poems of 31 syllables known from the VIII century. In the tank was attended by a caesura, in this place she "broke" into two pieces, turned the poem in 17 syllables and a couplet of 14 syllables a kind of dialogue that is often written by the two authors. Here is the original poem was called the hokku, which literally means "starting verse". Then when the poem received its own meaning, has become a genre with its complex laws, it became known as haiku.

Japanese genius finds himself in brevity. The haiku poem is the most concise genre of Japanese poetry: 17 syllables in 5-7-5 Mor.

In the string, 17 a complex poem, only three or four important words. In Japanese, haiku is written in one line from top to bottom. In European languages haiku are written in three lines. Rhyming Japanese poetry does not know the IX century formed the phonetics of Japanese language with all 5 vowels (a, u, e, o) and 10 consonants. If such a phonetic poverty no interesting rhyme is impossible. Formally, the poem rests on the expense of syllables.

To the XVII century to the writing of haiku was viewed as a game. The serious genre of haiku began with the appearance on the literary stage, the poet Matsuo Basho. In 1681 he wrote a famous poem about the Raven and absolutely changed the world of haiku:

On a dead branch

Black crows.

Autumn evening.

Note that the symbolism of the older generation in this translation replaced the "dry" branch into "dead", too, according to the laws of Japanese versification, dramalicious this poem. The translation rule is broken to avoid value words, definitions in General, but the most common. "The words of the haiku" (heigo) shall differ by more deliberate, precise simplicity, difficult to achieve, but clearly the perceived vapidity. However, this translation correctly captures the atmosphere created by the bass in this haiku, which became a classic, the anguish of loneliness, the universal grief.

There is another translation of this poem:

On the bare branch

The Raven sitting lonely

Autumn evening!

Here the translator added the word "alone", which is not present in the Japanese text, however, its inclusion is justified, since "the sad loneliness of an autumn evening" is the main theme of this haiku. Both transfers are measured criticism very highly.

As we can see in the original is missing the word "black", it is only implied. Image "the frozen Raven on a bare tree" on the origin of the Chinese. "Autumn dusk" (Aki no Kure but) can be interpreted as "late autumn" and "autumn evening". Monochrome a quality highly valued in the art of haiku; shows the time of day and year, erasing all of the paint.

Haiku less description. You need to describe the mentioned classics, and to call things (literally, "to give names to things" in the hole) very simple words and like call them for the first time.

The haiku not miniatures, as they were called in Europe. The largest haiku poet of the late nineteenth - early twentieth century, before the deceased from tuberculosis, Masaoka Shiki wrote that haiku contains in itself the whole world: the raging ocean, earthquakes, typhoons, sky and stars the whole earth, with the highest peaks and deepest troughs of the sea. Space haiku immensely, infinitely. In addition, haiku experiencing the attraction to unite in cycles, in a poetic diaries and often life-long, so the brevity of haiku can turn into its opposite: in the longest works the collection of poems (though discrete, discontinuous nature).