Thu, Apr 26, 2018
I’ve written a few haiku, that quintessentially Japanese verse form.
Just one point: in the West we think of the metre of haiku as being simply 5 – 7 – 5 syllables. In fact the most common form is 5 – 7 – 5 morae, where a mora is ‘a unit in phonology that determines syllable weight’. If that’s not clear, try: ‘something of which a long syllable consists of two and a short syllable consists of one’.
So it’s not precisely syllables. Japanese has some long – not exactly stressed but long – syllables. The city of Osaka is an example. It’s spoken with a long initial ‘O’, and written Ōsaka (o-o-sa-ka おおさか).So we’d say it has three syllables but the Japanese would count it as four morae.
So with that proviso, here are some of my efforts. Try it yourself before mocking.