Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Kobayashi On Haiku

Haiku master Kyoji Kobayashi (sponsored by The Japan Foundation) ran a workshop at the Litfest last year. I think what he says about Haiku applies to all good writing:

You should write a haiku as if you were looking through a child’s eyes. It’s important to look for a new image – something that you will be taken aback by as you write.

You need to disregard all thoughts that have to do with prior conception. Write not about what you know, but about what you have just found out. And you need to be frugal with your words, grabbing only the essence. Leave out anything the reader can work out. At the same time, cram as much imagery as possible into the space.

Do not try to come up with a masterpiece because then what you write will be boring. Try instead to create something that the person next to you likes.

If the person on the right enjoys it,
so might the person on the left,
so might the person behind you …
and the person in front of you might just applaud.

This is how masterpieces are usually created.


Anonymous said...

This is great advice! I'm going to keep it.


bibliobibuli said...

Fevertree, it's so good to see you here! I can hear the applause for your writing right the way over here!