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Jerome here, your local haiku heretic and rabble-rouser, elated to humbly invite you to participate in this hopefully somewhat novel and innovative haiku venture, where we shall strive thoughtfully to reconsider, experiment with, and refine the community’s conception of our beloved short forms by focusing on what a haiku can be rather than what it can’t, and apply our wits toward implementing a few fresh strategies to aid us in better clarifying, successfully solidifying and applying those elements and expectations from the conventional Japanese tradition into its English counterpart as effectually as possible.
This journal exists in part as a sandbox to workshop several ideas I have been bouncing around, possible solutions to various pickles and conundrums the Western practitioner has long grappled with in different ways over the years, which may or may not prove successful, that you may or may not become livid with indignation at the very suggestion of.
The second motive for this undertaking stems from the fact that many inventive and charming poems with atypical content or formatting are thriving across the internet in various themed markets and calls for material, yet find startlingly little acceptance, to my knowledge merit scanty ink in the dedicated journals, by all appearances.
My hope with Heterodox Haiku is to provide a space, one warm accommodating corner of the worldwide web— and in on-demand print! —
both for marginalized structures and approaches, as well as to champion pieces exploring less accepted (but richly precedented) subject matter
such as mythical or historical tableaux (favorites of Buson, flourishing contemporized in speculative sectors of SciFaiku/Horror-Ku, for example),
works evincing didactic, moralizing sentiments (Issa’s famous specialty),
or poems which qualify as less concrete than might perhaps be advocated
(Basho’s occasional guilty pleasure and bailiwick).
Ideally you have done your homework (preferably and most importantly immersing yourself in the work of those aforementioned masters, most notably Shiki, Buson, Issa, and Basho) and drawn meaningful conclusions, come to a personal understanding of what a haiku can be...
I’d especially like to read haiku (let’s include senryu under this broader than usual umbrella we’re describing here) which you strongly believe to qualify as correctly exemplifying the form, but have been told otherwise
by some authority or other, directly or via posted guidelines repeating supposedly sacrosanct rules. If you play your cards right I hope we can create some convincing arguments to challenge those assumptions!
Granted there may well be ‘higher’ ku, but don’t give up on, leave the ‘lower’ cases cruelly behind. As with an orphanage, while the handsomer, youngest specimens get snatched up right quick, those remaining homelier, less polished inmates in their ranks may yet contain some of the most unique, Dickensian charmers, to polite society's great astonishment. Even the rankest snaggletoothed urchin deserves a loving home and a cozy hearth to warm themselves beside! Heterodox Haiku aims to furnish just such an unlikely sanctuary to these needy foundlings…
what if we made a
place for all the discarded
So buckle up chums, here we go:
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