Seeing & Looking
My photo haiku don't always follow the haiku rules...
I do not believe
my haiku are well framed ̶ they
go from bad to verse
I can't give up making pictures, writing short poems or drinking coffee. After a while, these habits join each other like three lines in a haiku. I don't know when this happened.
Q: What is Photo Haiku?
Photo haiku combines an image and a brief poem to open the minds to a fresh perception. The combination evokes thoughts, and at best a state of consciousness in a viewer. Photo haiku tries to show the essence of human experience or nature. Well-written photo haiku can grabs the mind with an Aha! immediacy.
Q: Why do Photo Haiku ?
Making photo haiku expands our awareness of small delights, pleasures and odd moments. Writing haiku reframes our associations to our pictures. Photo haiku also boosts the impact of our photographs: words and pictures together have more power than either alone. We remember events more vividly when we write a poem about them.
This is not your grandfather's poetry. Modern haiku is playful, social, and even witty. The structure of haiku is no longer bound to 17 syllables anymore. Nope, no more the old 5-7-5 rule that we were taught in elementary school. Photo haiku today is more spontaneous. It has an 'on the spot' lightness.
The haiku form also lends itself to travels with a camera. It's a challenge to pay attention deeply so that I write poems that harmonizes with the pictures I take on the road. Even years later, looking back on where I travelled, my hoto haiku helps me recall small events. Part of the reason is that like haiku, our photo haiku can include a seasonal word that anchors the time of year of the event or perception.
Haiku: The Wordless Poem
Long called the “wordless poem,” hokku was linked to spiritual practice. The non-rhyming short poetry form began with scholars in China as hokku, then spread throughout Japan and came to be called haiku in the 19th century.Traditionally, poets in China wrote to praise nature. Writing poetry was a social occasion. Later, Matsuo Basho, the most renowned Japanese haiku poet, devoted his spiritual life to writing poetry and prose. With his travels throughout Japan and his haiku wiring, Basho remindfully brings the distant past into the present. He explored northern Japan as a traveling priest and his poems from his journeys bring us a feeling of “lightness,” as his haiku summoned ideas from Zen practice such as wabi, sabi and solitariness. Basho's prose and poetry reflects experiences anyone can have everyday. Today, haiku is popular worldwide.
Now, let's see how to make photo haiku - the How To of haiku.
How To Make Photo Haiku
Begin by observing a moment in time. Imagine the essence of what you feel and perceive.
Use familiar, simple photo gear like your cell phone or point and shoot camera. Any subject or human relationship can become a haiku photograph.
Think about the picture, and what you perceived, heard, or sensed. Write a short poem about the feeling you had. Your three line poem can be about what happened or what you imagined could have happened. Use direct, simple words. Think of a group of words that present what you observed in a way that appeals to the senses of touch, hearing and taste. Edit the poem so you "cut out the fat." Use present tense, not past tense.
Apps and Photoshop for Photo Haiku
There are many apps to apply effects to pictures. I've tried Photo Artista Haiku effect. Downloaded, the app lets you easily change the appearance of a photo. If will not make you a haiku poet, but the effects are fun.
PHOTOSHOP: Making Your Photo Haiku with 7 Steps in Adobe Photoshop
STEP 1: START. Open your photograph using File > Open.
STEP 2: Add your text. Click IMAGE > Canvas Size. Change width to 300 pixels wide. If your picture was 800 pixels, make the width 1200 pixels.
STEP 3 : Likewise, add 400 pixels to the height. Note that you can customize the canvas color by clicking Canvas extension color: drop-down menu at the bottom of the Canvas Size dialog box.
STEP 4: Click the Text Tool in the toolbox.
Select your font style from the upper toolbar.
Type in the text of your poem. If you want to move down a line, type 'enter" key on your keyboard.
STEP 5: Click Photoshop's check mark to commit your edits (the check mark is at the top of Photoshop's display, in the middle of the Options bar that runs horizontally across the top of the screen). To view your text layer, open the Layers palette by clicking WINDOW > Layers
( or type the fn key plus the f7 key).
STEP 6: Position your poem by using the move tool in the toolbox.
STEP 7: FINISH. With the text and a picture on two layers, save the file as a .psd file type so you can edit it later (File > Save As). For instance, you may wish to change the color scheme, and this is easier with a Photoshop's .PSD file.
Haiku photography is thriving in the information age as people write haiku in 30 different languages. The rapid growth of digital photography inspires new forms of photo haiku. As a wave of younger artists publish diverse haiku photo work online, haiku photo will reach a global audience with fresh energy, centuries after it first emerged.
HAIKU POETS HUT. For an index of haiku subjects from “inner glow” to “dragons” and a million other haiku, explore Shoji and other poets at Haiku Poets Hut.
FACEBOOK. Join the haiku hut on Facebook .
WORLD HAIKU REVIEW. Find the official magazine of the World Haiku Club.
HAIKU BOOK. The Haiku Anthology , Third edition. Core van den Hoevel.
HAIKU: THE WORLD'S SHORTEST POEM. Youtube video that shows Japanese people in Tokyo spontaneously composing haiku on the street and references Basho and Shiki, two haiku poets.
Photos and Writings by Jim Austin Jimages