Entry: COTTONWOOD DOWN Wednesday, June 13, 2007



Regular readers will have noticed that there is much more to learning hokku than to learning modern haiku. And much of what is learned in the study of hokku, unlike the vagaries of modern haiku instruction, is very practical and straightforward and can readily be put to good use.

For example, a few postings ago I presented more of the forms common and helpful in writing hokku.

Among those forms was one summarized thus:

Adding to the variety of hokku types, there is one we might call "Also / Even." Such verses rely on the use of the words "also" "too," or "even" to achieve a certain effect.

How does one put such information into practice?  It is very simple.  Just learn the basic forms, and when the occasion arises, it will pop into your head.

Yesterday was one of those sunny, warm, pleasant days of the beginning of summer.  The heat brought out the seed fluff in the cottonwood trees along the stream, and soon it was carried everywhere by the wind currents, filling the sky.  In my garden, I watched dragonflies darting to and fro through the fluff drifting on the air.  One could see and feel summer beginning in the experience.  So deep was the effect that I was able to write this hokku the next morning:

Cottonwood down;
It even blows into
My dreams.

If you have never seen cottonwood down filling the air on a warm day at the beginning of summer, you might not "get" this verse.  But anyone who has will get it immediately.

But note the form of the verse.  It is exactly the form I described in the previously-posted lesson.  These forms are not just for beginners in hokku.  They are tools that remain useful all through your maturing practice.  If you learn them thoroughly, they will be at hand when you need them.


Copyright 2007
David Coomler

 

 

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