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H no.1 – ‘Haiku’

“I write a poem

Five, seven, five – the rhythm

It is a haiku”

Another great topic suggestion by Amanda, this time by accident.

We were out to dinner with friends and were joking about some other ‘H’ subject, when I started waxing poetic about it. We both laughed and said “Oh, it sounds like a haiku!” Both of us looked up, eyes wide, and gasped…before laughing at our accidental genius. Haiku was going to be my subject!

What I thought was kind of neat was that a new follower of mine (Hello to all those amazing new followers! Thank you so much for taking the time to check me out here!) had a few blog entries about devotional haikus! What a great coincidence!

Just before putting up this post, I decided to fact-check (if you can count checking wikipedia as ‘fact-checking’) to see how my highschool English teachers held up against the internet. It turns out that while their descriptions were a bit over-simplistic, they weren’t far off!

Most of us know that the basics for haiku are that the first line has 5 syllables, the second 7, and the final has 5 again. Although, apparently that is the English ‘free form’ version, as in reality the Japanese count in something similar to, but distinct from syllables that do not have an equivelant in English, which I found interesting.

Also, the fact that they are ‘nature focused’ is another over-simplification. A traditional haiku contains a particular type of word that comes from an extensive, although particular language category. These words can specifically reference a season or time of year, but others allude to experiences that only happen during a certain season (migration of birds, types of rain, etc.), giving the reader the option of reflecting on the time of year.

There is also some talk of a ‘juxtoposition’ used at the end of one of the phrases, but it doesn’t translate into English very well, and so you’ll often see a hyphon, or elipses instead. (Why are we even trying, guys? None of it works in English!)

What I enjoy about a well crafted haiku is that it is, like so much of Japanese culture, very precise in structure, but meant to inspire reflection, and communicate a fleeting and beautiful moment. It seems very much like so many rituals in Paganism; well structured, but meant to communicate something ecstatic and beautiful. Something free and grand.

Here’s my attempt at some haikus for Dionysus, and then Hekate.

Antinous as Dionysus

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“Break me free without

My permission is given

the situation”

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Hekate, as seen in Time-Life's 'Night Creatures' *

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“I am the black bitch

Maiden, crone – and sometimes not

World key plant woman”

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This has inspired me to try and continue writing as part of my religious practice. Ginandjack does an amazing job, and I’d like to try my hand at it as a way to explore more faces of my deities.

My challenge to you all now is to try and leave (at least part) of your comment in haiku form! Or, if you prefer, leave me a devotional haiku!

 

* On Tumblr I mentioned that there

are 3 faces I associate with Hekate:

This one. This one. And finally,

The one I posted above.

The one above was the first.

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