“As literary coincidences go, it might not carry quite the same cosmic portent as Halley’s Comet appearing in the month of Mark Twain’s birth. But Monday [March 21, 2011] happen[ed] to be both World Poetry Day and the fifth anniversary of the moment when a young American software designer named Jack Dorsey sent out to the world the first message using the service that soon became known as Twitter.
The ambrosial stuff of poesy it was not, except maybe to Dilbert fans: 'inviting coworkers.'
But the confluence of these two events — both having to do with humanity’s deep and sometimes uncontrollable need to communicate — is occasioning a fresh outpouring of opinion about the future of Twitter as a vehicle for real creativity, not just for entertaining train wrecks like Charlie Sheen’s.
For much of Twitter’s life, the idea that its 140-character stricture could be a crucible for a new kind of ambitious writing has been, more than anything else, a punch line.
The 2009 publication of ‘Twitterature’ — a book in which 80 works of Western literature are boiled down into Twitter messages (“Laertes is unhappy that I killed his father and sister. What a drama queen! Oh well, fight this evening.”) — didn’t help matters.
But there’s evidence that the literary flowering of Twitter may actually be taking place. The Twitter haiku
movement — ‘twaiku’ to its initiates — is well under way. Science fiction and mystery enthusiasts especially have gravitated to its communal immediacy. And even litterateurs
, with a capital L, seem to be warming to it.”
— Randy Kennedy, The New York Times
“The fact that the smallest literary form - haiku
- has the most rules never ceases to amaze and astound. The only real comfort one can find in this situation is the concept that this affords a wider range of rules from which a writer can pick and choose. You cannot follow all of the rules and several of them are so contradictory that there is no way to honor them both at once. You must always choose.
In order to make a choice, you have to understand the reasons and methods. To write about one or two 'rules' as if these are the 'real rules' could (and should!) easily offend those of the society membership who have chosen to follow opposite or other guidelines. So let me make the disclaimer that in discussing these rules I am only discussing some of the current disciplines I am following in my own haiku writing and which are currently shared by a majority of writers.
First and foremost, and certainly the guideline which I have consciously or unconsciously followed the longest, is the one that a haiku must be divided into two parts. This is the positive side of the rule that haiku should not be a run-on sentence.
There needs to be a syntactical break dividing the ku into two parts. From the Japanese language examples this meant that one line (5 onji) was separated from the rest by either grammar or punctuation (in the Japanese an accepted sound-word - kireji - was as if we said or wrote out 'dash' or 'comma').
For purposes of this discussion, I would like to call the shorter portion, the fragment and the longer portion, or rest of the poem, the phrase.The need for distinguishing between the two parts of the ku takes on importance when one begins to discuss the use of articles (a, an, & the) because it is possible to have different rules concerning the different parts. Before getting into that, let me state that the fragment can be (or usually is) either line # one or line # three. A clear example of the first is;
the electricity goes
on and off
Even without punctuation the reader can hear and feel the break between the fragment (rain gusts) and the phrase (the electricity goes on and off). Also one instinctively feels that the second line break would go after goes. Yet, another author may find merit in continuing the line to read 'the electricity goes on' and then let the final line bring in the dropped shoe - 'and off'. I chose to have 'on and off' as the third line because my goal was to establish an association between 'rain gusts' and 'on and off.'
One can write of many qualities of 'rain gusts,' but in this ku, the 'on and off' aspect is brought forward and then reinforced by bringing in the power of electricity.”
— Jane Reichhold, AHApoetry