Haiku : Writing rules

A few structures.

Ilustration of haiku structures from Bashô disciples.

Examples from "Haikai de Basho et de son ecole" Collection textuel Paris 1998 (Le Seuil) ISBN 2-909317-61-7, Traductions Rene Seiffert.

* A phrase in two lines, two or three images. A subject group, a verbal group without a verb. An inverted phrase in the third verse.

 un bruit de carpe
 dans le clair obscur de l'eau
 blanc est le prunier
a sound of a carpus
in the water chiaroscuro
white is the plum tree

URITSU 1640-1726

* A non verbal inverted phrase in three verses, ceasura at the end of the second

 sur les jeunes pins
 qui parent toutes les barques
 un restant de neige
on the young pines
adorning the boats
a rest of snow

TANKO

* A complete phrase in three verses with a pivot at the middle of the second.

cherchant des fenouils
il a trébuche et dans sa gourde
plus de saké
seaching fennels
he has stumbled and in his flask
no more sake

TANKO

* A complete phrase in three verses, without ceasura

la fleur de glycine
a pris un air désolé
pour nous attendrir
the wisteria flower
take a distressed expression
to move us

ETSUJIN 1656-1740

* Three subject groups in 3 lines, 3 images, 3 semantic caesuras

verdoyant feuillage
chant du coucou dans les monts
première bonite
verdant foliage
cuckoo song over the montains
first bonito

SODO 1642-1716

* Caesura in the first verse, a phrase with enjambement in the verses 2 and 3. One image.

changement de robe
de toute facon, une blanche
laisse à désirer
robe changing
in all manner, a white one
leave to be desired

ROTSU 1649-1738

* A complete phrase, interrogative, completly inverted over thre verses

sur le tas de terre
quand a-t-il été semé
l'unique épi d'orge
on the earth pile
when were it sown
the unique braley spike

GENRYO

* A phrase in two verses, adverbial phrase in the 1rst verse, normal form in the 2nd. Recall of subject in the 3rd. pompous form (Caesura at the end of the 2nd)

dans la nuit noire
elle fait pâlir les éclairs
la face de la lune
in the dark night
she fade lightnings away
the moon face

CHOKO

* Two phrases, two parallels images

pendant mon sommeil
le foyer s'est éteint
elle est partie
during my sleep
the fireplace goes out
she has gone

SHUSEN 1654-1737

* A complete phrase, adverbial phrase in the 1rst and 2nd verses, subject and verb at the end.

d'un air affairé
dans la presse du jour de l'an
il fraie son chemin
with a busy way
in the hurry of New Year's Day 
he ploughs

BASHO 1644-1694

* Two phrases. Enjambement of subject and verb in verse 1 and 2, semantic caesura at the end of the 2nd, adverbial phrase in the 3rd or the opposite. Two images juxtaposated.

le voyageur
s'en va en grattant ses poux
printemps finissant
the traveler
goes away scratting his louses
spring ending

KYOKUSHI

* A phrase, two parallels images ou opposite in the 1rst and 3rd verses.

la cloche de bois
et dans l'intervalle
le chant du coucou
the wooden bell
and in the interval
the cuckoo song

UKO 1691

* A phrase, two sides, pivot at the beginning of the 2nd verse. Two images juxtaposated.

le pluvier crie
alors que nuit après nuit
il fait plus froid
the plover calls
while night after night
it is colder

YABA 1663-1740

* An image with an exclamation. Caesura at the end of the 2nd verse.

au bord du chemin
le portique de Taka
ah  quelle froidure
by the roadside
the Taka portico
ah  what a coldness

SHOHAKU 1650-1722