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Analysis of the Haiku structure

winter thunder
i let tea leaves
release the tannins

tonnerre hivernal
je laisse les feuilles de thé
libérer les tannins

Polona Oblak, Slovenia
cco 2018-01-2


Opposition forte entre le tonnerre et la délicate subtilité des tannins. Il y a aussi comme l’idée que les tannins dégagent une puissance similaire au tonnerre. Le mystère du thé que l’on pourrait rapprocher du génie de la lampe...


winter thunderstorm tea taste

Structure of this haiku.

Used techniques :

* feuilleté - Multilevel discourse, layered haiku. (foliated)
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.

Surface : x---------------------------x
Depth: x----------------------------x
(x------------------------x )

- Two parallel speeches with sharing semes.
- Horizontal caesura/break (=)
- The author says something on the superficial level and something else on the deep level. These two discourses are linked by a sharing of semes.
possibly several different deep discourses
- Deep discourse: parallel - structural element: concordance
- Deep discourse: independent - structural element: discordance
- structural element: foliated
- the "foliated" structural element is always an explicit construction of the author.
- the foliated often leads to the concordance between surface and deep discourse. The deep discourse is then another aspect of the surface discourse.

Effects: reinter - Reworking at the end.

At the level: 1-surf - Surface level
Discourse, surface structures, content, subject, style.

Description level: 2-trait - Style,subject handling

* opp-sim - Opposition-similarity.
Opposition AND similarity. A relationship between two terms is both an opposition and a similarity.

For example: an egg on the plate and the setting sun. There is a sharing of the semes of roundness, red, but opposition between Up versus Bottom, Large versus Small.

Effects: liadyn - Binding with dynamics effects

At the level: 1-surf - Surface level
Discourse, surface structures, content, subject, style.

Description level: 2-strs - Organization, surface structures

* atmosphere - Atmosphere.
Something emerges from all the elements that constitute haiku: a climate, an atmosphere. The author does not state this explicitly. It is the reader who reconstructs it from his or her own experience.

This is especially true in three-segment haiku, also called "grocery list". But this effect can also be achieved in other ways.

The mention of feelings related to the weather and taste adds a multisensory dimension to the atmosphere created.

The atmosphere is mostly characterized by slow or motionless time.

Effects: liasen - Binding with sensorial feelings.

At the level: 1-surf - Surface level
Discourse, surface structures, content, subject, style.

Description level: 3-suj - Subject, content

* yugen - Yugen.
Yugen is a concept of Japanese aesthetics that can be expressed as deep, mysterious, dark, troubled.... In criticism of Japanese poetry, he expresses a subtle depth of things that are vaguely evoked in the poem.

Effects: liainc - Binding to the Unconscious

At the level: 2-prof - Deep level
Deep and non explicit structures, active objects of the unconscious.

Description level: 5-strp - Deep structure (schemas, patterns, cultural, associations, similarities)

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