Description: Today we will discuss how to classify different types of haiku (more than just senryu vs. traditional haiku) based on the concept of "scent links," "content links" and "word links." Students will attempt to classify some of the haiku they have already read into one of these categories. The reading for tonight is another sheet of haiku, giving students the task to differentiate between scent, content and word links. At the end of the day, students should submit any and all haiku that they would like to be put in the kukai, which will take place on Day Ten, the last day of the unit.
IL.1.A.4b: Compare the meaning of words and phrases and use analogies to explain the relationships among them.
IL.1.A.5b: Analyze the meaning of abstract concepts and the effects of particular word and phrase choices.
IL.1.C.5d: Summarize and make generalizations from content and relate them to the purpose of the material.
IL.2.A.4a: Analyze and evaluate the effective use of literary techniques (e.g., figurative language, allusion, dialogue, description, symbolism, word choice, dialect) in classic and contemporary literature representing a variety of forms and media.
IL.4: GOAL: Listen and speak effectively in a variety of situations.
IL.4.A.4a: Apply listening skills as individuals and members of a group in a variety of settings (e.g., lectures, discussions, conversations, team projects, presentations, interviews).
IL.4.A.4b: Apply listening skills in practical settings (e.g., classroom note taking, interpersonal conflict situations, giving and receiving directions, evaluating persuasive messages).
Students will learn the difference between scent links, content links and word links
Students will attempt to classify the haiku they have already read into one of these categories
Teacher: notes on links, handout of haiku selections for homework
Students: utensils for note taking, handout provided by instructor
I will begin the class by addressing any lingering concerns students might have after yesterday's editing session. Students should turn in any and all haiku they would like to submit for the kukai by the end of the day.
We will then discuss one further, more complicated way to classify haiku: through scent links, content links or word links. This is a Japanese tradition, and generally applies to links within a kasen-no-renga, or thirty-six link haiku poem.
According to Basho (sometimes called the father of haiku), three historical time periods can be associated with the three different types of links. The "distant past" is associated with word links, the "recent past" with content links, and the present with scent links (which he categorizes as transference, reverberation, scent and status, a rather broad classification).
"Word" or "object" links rely on a freer form of word association, bridging the gap between different images. This can include puns as well.
"Content" links are based on a cause-effect relationship, or narrative development. For instance, a story started in one link continues in another.
"Scent" links join haiku by shared connotations (emotions or atmosphere). This selection by Basho and Fubaku provides a good example of a scent link:
beneath the trees
in the soup, salad, everywhere
a spring that brings regret
to tomorrow's visitor
The connotation here (which may be difficult for us Westerners to catch) is that, while the cherry blossoms are beautiful and also a sign of spring, they are also fleeting, and will soon be gone. Today's visitor may be filled with delight at the sight of cherry blossoms, but tomorrow's visitor may miss them.
Let's take a look at some of the haiku we have read so far. Could we classify them into these categories?
There are even further categories into which we can divide haiku: "emotion," or "person" links and "non-emotion" or "non-person" links.
Obviously, emotion/person links focus on the action, thought, emotions or situations of people, while non-emotion/non-person links focus more on places, in which no people appear.
Person links can be further divided into "self" verses and "other" verses.
Take a look at some of the haiku we've read in this unit - which authors focus more on person verse, and which focus on non-person verses? For instance, this haiku by George Swede is a non-person link:
open library window
spring breeze flutters the pages
of the abandoned book
This haiku by Basho is also a non-person link:
The first snow--
Daffodil leaves bend
Under the weight
This haiku by Peggy Lyles is more of a person, or emotion link:
the nun begins her journey
with a backward glance
While that haiku is an "other" link, this haiku is more of a "self" link:
into the night
we talk of human cloning
This classification process can be difficult, so we will go over a few more examples in class to make sure everyone has the gist of it. I will then hand out the reading selections to be used for homework. Students may get a head start on this homework in class and ask questions (though as usual, there are really no wrong answers here) or use the time to finish up some last-minute haiku to submit to the kukai. Students have until the end of the day. These submissions may be typed or hand-written.
As per usual, today's assessment is informal. Haiku is a very subjective art and there really can't be any wrong answers as long as the student believes what he or she is saying. Students will receive a handout of more haiku selections (some of which will probably be from past reading assignments). From these selections, they should select one haiku for each type of link - scent, word, and content. If they wish, they may also choose to classify person links as self or other, and non-person links. This is not required, but will make for a more interesting discussion tomorrow.
Students have until the end of the day to submit their choices for the kukai. I'm asking them to submit a day in advance so I can compile the choices and have them ready tomorrow. That will give them a full 24 hours to ruminate over their classmates' work and pick a few favorites.
No major accommodations should be needed for this lesson.