Discussion on haiku & tanka one-liners

16 Feb

Posted below is a transcript of my side of a conversation on Twitter about writing haiku or tanka in one line.

Monoku=exception to form (3 lines). IMHO they work best with a very minimalist imagery, where you want all words to interact.

A haiku of mine, good as monoku:

boots crunch the snow   shovels’ clanking echoes   her tiny weight

(Can be seen as a whole.)

IMHO, monoku are ultimate minimalist haiku, more solidly coherent / integrated than even micro-haiku, 6-7 syllables, or so. More of my monoku


crocus everywhere—except over her grave

the creaks of wind-tossed elms—swinging shadows


in the deepest vault a schematic for the spring breeze

brevity trembles on the lip dwells in stillness


the frequency of poetry—only hearts can hear it

(Monoku can seem like koan or aphorism. It’s distinguishable from haiku.)

[Regarding tanka in one line:]

I don’t write tanka in 1 line. The line breaks are definitive IMHO. To each his own. My feeling is that, in English, tanka needs the line breaks to indicate its pentapartite nature. I feel the need to emphasize the five-ness of tanka so strongly, that I even used initial caps in my collection of tanka.


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Posted by on February 16, 2015 in Articles & Essays



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