Tuesday, October 04, 2005

funnel haiku 1 : internet

to how many screens
does the fleeting autumn leaf
pay its stray visit?

a leaf that falls
into my pond here
how many see?

thinking of
a yellow leaf



[the following notes pertain to some techno-formal-stuff.]

funnel haiku is a 3-ku form of recent invention (i.e., today); it uses these syllable counts for a 3-verse sequence:
5-7-5 / 4-5-4 / 3-4-3

The first of those (5 syllables in 1st line, 7 syllables in 2nd line, 5 syllables in 3rd line) is of course based on the syllable-count structure of Japanese haiku (which, for formalist approaches to English haiku, is prevlent, though not to say ubiquitous: some likeable haiku or haiku-like work is also done in English oblivious of any syllable-counting. To my personal taste, the best of this -- though he really worked in a form of his own development, but deeply influenced by haiku (as well as, in certain ways, by ghazal poetry) -- can be found in W.S. Merwin's volume from the 1980s, Finding The Islands. But I digress.)

Back to funnel ku. The shorter structures (4-5-4 and 3-4-3) are my own recent modifications (theory about which, I won't bother with here). So the 1st verse is 17 syllables, the 2nd 13 syllables, the 3rd 10 syllables. [Yes I know, haiku is all stand-alone verses. I'm inventing a new form that ain't haiku; it's funnel haiku. No infringement complaint need be filed. I checked w/ Ku, she's okay about it!]

So far (i.e., today) I've composed 2 of these funnel triptychs. My notion is: if I'd done just one, it'd be an oddity. Having done two, it's an established form. If 9 or 10 should appear, it can be deemed a veritable pillar of the community and legacy to society. ;-)


Blogger ~River~ said...

I think it's an interesting structure for the haiku. The falling syllable count creates a nice spiralling-downward kind of feeling.

Wed Oct 05, 12:38:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...

mmm, well noted, River.
It has surprised me (a bit) how a syllable-count approach to "form" in English can be used in lieu of more familiar "metrical" [per se] methods (a lesson taken from recent haiku dabbling. The recognition seemed to call for further exploration.) To generalize, w/ shorter lines, the "sense of form" (with such a method) comes even more into play, I'd say. If one went in other direction (to longer lines), I suspect the feeling of form would get muddled rather than stronger.
But enough w/ "temptations toward theorizing" (thoughtful readers don't require over-much self-explaining).

I did write another funnel-ku w/ 5 stanzas (the last 2 being 2-3-2 and 1-2-1). An amusing feat, but it seemed exaggerated (immodest); the 3 stanzas perchance suffice for a form.

cheers, d.i.

Wed Oct 05, 02:35:00 AM PDT  
Blogger david raphael israel said...


now I'm calling the new form "tri-ku";
"funnel haiku" = too many syllables!


Thu Oct 06, 02:01:00 AM PDT  

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