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Analysis of the Haiku structure

prairie dogs—
mares tails
over Little Big Horn

Earl Keener, USA
cco 2018-07-2


Mares tails : Cirrus en forme de queues de chevaux. -- Note de l'auteur : Little Big Horn was where the 7th Calvary under General Custer was annihilated by the Arapaho, Cheyenne, and Lakota in 1876. The war against the native Indians was genocide and ethnic cleansing. It was theft, land grabbing and greed- the kind of thing one has come to expect from men with nationalist fever. Mares tails are clouds resembling horse tails. There is still a notable population of prairie dogs in the battlefield area as there was long before the incident. While the Indians briefly won the day and the interlopers defeated, it is the prairie dogs that have inhabited and haunted the area continuously, thus far resistant to the affairs of men.


USA prairie

Structure of this haiku.

Used techniques :

* culturel - Use of external cultural reference.
The haiku is based on an external cultural element, well known by the reader. There is a sharing of an environment (place, situation...) or cultural element (music, painting...) that will seek memories or sensations in the memory and experience of the reader. This device saves a lot of space, nothing else is needed, the effect is achieved by the reader's contribution.

* simili - Similitudes.
Use of images with common semes. The sharing of common semes (qualities, characteristics) makes images reinforce each other. There is resonance because the mind makes the relationship between the two images.

A cup of tea and a lake share the fact that they are an expanse of liquid surrounded by a rim. We can "see" the image of one in the other.

* feuilleté - Multilevel discourse, layered haiku.
Haikus with two (or more) reading levels. A first objective level referring to a situation, another underlying level saying something else. The Chinese are fond of this type of discourse with many levels.

These various levels may be conscious or unconscious.

We find a little bit of this technique consciously applied in the weather haiku. The weather element can be understood as an mention to the weather and as the element that creates the atmosphere of haiku.

The two levels of discourse are conscious and disjointed and well visible in haiku tanka, of which they form the two parts. However, they overlap in the layered haiku.

Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator

* engagé - Committed haïku.
Haïku with a political message or opinion, an involvement

* - Committed haïku.
Haïku with a political message or opinion, an involvement

Archetypes and dialectics

* T_PassePresent - Bubble of Past.

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