13

I was once told that haiku should be "padded" so that instead of 5/7/5, they fit an 8/8/8 meter:

■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line
■■■■■■■□ ← wait for 1 beat after this line
■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line

If I recall correctly, the explanation was that Japanese favors rhythms in groups of 4 or 8 beats (morae). I don't actually know if haiku are read this way, though--it's just something I was told once.

Are haiku actually read aloud with these pauses? Or is this something my friend made up?

1
  • 1
    Holy crap, I do this automatically and I never noticed it.
    – Sjiveru
    Dec 22 '13 at 1:21
9

Yes, I think you'd read it as:

■■■■■□□□
■■■■■■■□ 
■■■■■□□□

for 5/7/5 like かたつむり・・・ where the middle line can be split into 4+3(e.g.: トウキョウ・ナゴヤ).
And you'd read it as:

■■■■■□□□  
□■■■■■■■ 
■■■■■□□□ 

for 5/7/5 like 静かさや・・・ where the middle line sounds better when split into 3+4(e.g.: カワズ・トビコム).

And you'd probably read it as:

■■■■■□□□  
■■■■■■■■ 
■■■■■□□□ 

for 5/8/5, like 8/5/8/5/8/5... :D(唱歌・カタツムリ童謡・鳩より)

5
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    wwwwちょこれーと東京名古屋かたつむり。最高のアンサーだわ、これw Dec 22 '13 at 3:09
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    いい俳句が思いつかなかったんで・・・^^;
    – user1016
    Dec 22 '13 at 4:19
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    Yup! And according to this book (p171, 2.14 Rhythm in "Haiku"), that also explains why 「ニッポン」, rather than 「にほん」, is used for cheering.
    – null
    May 22 '14 at 8:27
  • Interesting. Are there any recorded examples of this out there? May 22 '14 at 17:51
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    @RoyFuentes I recorded my reading on Vocaroo and pasted the links up here. For more... how about this 百人一首 読み上げ, not the same words/songs, though.
    – user1016
    May 23 '14 at 9:31

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