Music Haiku

October 24, 2004 at 04:41 AM · A friend forwarded these Haikus to me. They were written by a clarinetist with poetic inclinations, and yes, they spoke to me! They also gave me an idea...let's write Haikus!

Haiku is a Japanese verse form of three unrhymed lines. The first line has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five syllables.

So here are a few to get you thinking:

Squeaking and squawking

All eyes roll to the heavens

The clarinet speaks


The jam session starts

Somebody calls "Giant Steps"

Cold fear grips my brain


Here's the girl singer

Stepping to the microphone

Pitch, time, all gone now


Gig is going well

Some one requests "In the Mood"

I look at my watch


Gorgeous chick tells me

"You sound just like Kenny G"

My ego shatters


Three-eight, eleven-eight

Damn you, Andrew Lloyd Webber

Five-eight, seven-eight


The woodwind doubler

Practicing the piccolo

Frustration defined


Pit orchestra gig

Days and nights become as one

I have no damn life


Bad intonation

Strings are sharp and reeds are flat

Brass, too loud again


An oxymoron:

"He plays the accordion

With delicacy"


Bassoons forever

Try in vain not to sound like

A farting bedpost


The strings slowly tune

When they're done, the unison

Is anything but


"I can't find my note"

Bemoans the confused singer

"Quit now," we all pray


That plate of hors d'oeuvres

Cost more than we're getting paid

Think we underbid?


God bless Trust Fund gigs

Only have to eat Ramen

For a few more weeks

Replies (93)

October 24, 2004 at 08:51 AM · Greetings,

one characteristic of haiku apart from the number of syllables is thta you have to include a seasonal word. This might not be so obvious in the English verison if you are not Japanese.

So a veyr poor translation from Japanese of my favorite:

The mask that I bought,

Very large eye holes,

Autumn festival.

Men wo kotte,

okii me no ana

aki matsuri

The mask traditionally worn at the autumn festival is a skull. The point being that even though on e is having a good time winter (or death) is coming soon.

One of the most famous for rather nefarious reasons is:

You only live twice,

Once when you are born,

And once when you die.

No prizes for guessing the movie...

So instead of a season word, howabout a string word?

the fiddle I got,

was sounding really super

but my g string broke



October 24, 2004 at 10:26 AM · Playing Danse Macabre

Think I'll be a witch this year

Halloween madness

October 24, 2004 at 02:53 PM · This one is for before we started requesting people to post reasons for their favorites....

The best recording?

It's Heifetz. No reason why.

This thread is boring.

October 24, 2004 at 10:03 PM · I love practicing

Until I see in the score

The fingered octaves

October 24, 2004 at 11:52 PM · Mattias Ekland

has stolen all my prunes

master of the runs

October 25, 2004 at 12:29 AM · My fingers rebel

As I scan the black ovals

Sing, violin, sing!

October 25, 2004 at 12:41 AM · Teacher haiku:

I'm in school today.

Twenty minute group lessons.

Tuned up? Lesson ends.

October 25, 2004 at 12:40 AM · Fingers, play in tune

Just this once; do it for me,

Or I'll chop you off!

October 25, 2004 at 12:46 AM · And one for me:

Finzi Introit blues

Squeals too high to stay in tune

My harmonic hell

October 25, 2004 at 12:47 AM · Hours of practice

My Fingers bleed from sharp strings

Violin Hickey

October 25, 2004 at 03:01 AM · Least talent -- most cash?

Andre Rieu, skill adieu...

Vanessa Mae win.

October 25, 2004 at 03:16 AM · Harold Schoenberg once wrote a column in praise of a sort of "poetry" which involved:

1) First line involving a two-part nonsense word, both parts tri-syllabic

2) A mention of a real, famous person in the second line

3) A polysyllabic single-word penultimate line

4) A sense of humor

Thus, he wrote:


Boulez and Stockhausen,

Serial exponents,

Know all the tricks.

Opium tone-rows they

Inhale with joyousness


Getting their kicks."

October 25, 2004 at 03:52 AM · A few little passages to describe the life of an adult beginning the violin.


Bad intonation!

I think I'll stick to guitar

Thank goodness for frets


Ernst F sharp minor,

Concerto I'll never play

I, the late starter.


Practicing Sevcik

The bane of my existance

Someone kill me please


Lousy repetoire.

I want to play Tchaikovsky!

Not nursery rhymes!



Shouts the violin teacher



I call this opus

"Woes of the Adult starter"

Give me sympathy.


October 25, 2004 at 03:54 AM · oops... sorry Laurie, I didn't realise I plagiarised the first line of one of your poems!

October 25, 2004 at 04:09 AM · Another adult beginner....

No time to practice

Too many teenage dramas

Blown concentration

I pay attention

take notes, ready to focus

the day ends, oh well

School - the kids are gone

Morning solitude, what joy

My violin sings

October 25, 2004 at 04:27 AM · No problem, actually I can't take credit for any of those. They came from that poetic clarinetist!

October 25, 2004 at 06:34 AM ·

While on stage, my Strad

Fell from my fingers and crashed!

It became toothpicks.

The smallest viol

That the world has ever seen:

A Stradivirus

October 25, 2004 at 06:34 AM · Sorry for such corny contributions, hahaha! I hope someone enjoys them, nonetheless :-P

October 25, 2004 at 02:42 PM · Corny is what this thread is about! Unless, of course, someone comes up with a serious work of poetry.

October 25, 2004 at 10:09 PM · I've decided to do a prune haiku:

Prunes can be eaten like that

Prunes can be turned juice

Prunes are used by violinists!



October 26, 2004 at 12:04 AM · Greetings,

Laurie, that gets a metaphorical demerit. These are all -serious- works of poetry. (It`s just the perpetrators who seem to have a few mental problems...)



October 26, 2004 at 03:13 AM · This room practice that room practice

cacaphony sandwich poor neighbours!

To mute or not to mute?

My delight or theirs?

Fuzz-buzz sound or shrill joy?

Gotta practise, when to practise? Day time night time what time right time? Now!

Oops, the 17 syllables are there but not in the right order.

October 26, 2004 at 03:39 AM · Buri,

I could well be mistaken, but I was under the impression that haiku only had to contain intimations of or references to seasons, not necessarily actual seasonal words. Is that wrong? Perhaps I got that idea because the class I took in which we read a lot of haiku (especially Basho) was all translations, but it does seem that overt references to seasons aren't mandatory.

October 26, 2004 at 04:20 AM · Enough Haiku, here's a prune limerick.

There once was a man who ate prunes

Which seriously affected his tunes

Whilst playing the harp

His flats became sharp

So now he's just playing the spoons

October 26, 2004 at 05:26 AM · You are all artists

Deep, intellectual sorts

Write me more poems

Just fill up my board

With poems to make me laugh

I'll give you all stars

Or fill up my board

With poems to make me cry

I'll give you stars, too!

October 26, 2004 at 05:36 AM · I'm all out of stars

I'm so lost with out them, I

know it was wrong, pre-

tending I'd give them...

I'm all out of stars, I can't

give without them, I...

October 26, 2004 at 05:39 AM · Greetings,

Laurie is in a black hole,

The center of a prune.



October 26, 2004 at 05:40 AM · Greetings,

that@s right Jude. My reference to seasonal words meant what you said. I just can`t rite ziss engrish stuff no more,



October 26, 2004 at 01:50 PM · Fall night, needing sleep

Words shifting drifting through head

Crazy Haiku thoughts.

New instrument stand

Walnut, made with loving hands

Cradles violin.

Musical notes soar

Flowing through the crisp clear days

Autumn arias.

Tree sheds ruby leaves

burying green grass. Sad notes

drift through window pane.

Cherished violin

Purchased with time, labor, skill

Tangible love gift.

Ramblings, Wanda

October 26, 2004 at 06:25 PM · Talking of seasons, I love Keats' poem "Ode to Autumn"

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!

Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;

To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,

And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;

To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells

With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,

And still more, later flowers for the bees,

Until they think warm days will never cease,

For Summer has o'erbrimmed their clammy cells.

Who hath not seen thee oft amid thy store?

Sometimes whoever seeks abroad may find

Thee sitting careless on a granary floor,

Thy hair soft-lifted by the winnowing wind;

Or on a half-reaped furrow sound asleep,

Drowsed with the fume of poppies, while thy hook

Spares the next swath and all its twined flowers;

And sometimes like a gleaner thou dost keep

Steady thy laden head across a brook;

Or by a cider-press, with patient look,

Thou watchest the last oozings, hours by hours.

Where are the songs of Spring? Ay, where are they?

Think not of them, thou hast thy music too, -

While barred clouds bloom the soft-dying day

And touch the stubble-plains with rosy hue;

Then in a wailful choir the small gnats mourn

Among the river sallows, borne aloft

Or sinking as the light wind lives or dies;

And full-grown lambs loud bleat from hilly bourn;

Hedge-crickets sing, and now with treble soft

The redbreast whistles from a garden-croft;

And gathering swallows twitter in the skies.

I also like this haiku because it's so cleveryly done:

Children are always

gentle flowers growing wild

nurture them softly

October 26, 2004 at 10:04 PM · Last time I touched it

'twas scented with vermouth, no

rosin to curb Fall.


Been up to my glass

in Cage, Eliot, Klee--

fermata capsules.


No bones in these tunes,

just some gut-racking synapse

and no cider at all.


You are the tonic

I revisit each autumn;

too quiet in here.


If you were the third

would you feel inferior

to that bright red C?


I've been gone on air,

on dull sepia chants, for

many autumns. Cheers...


I've lost my scales, childs,

so deep in this labyrinth,

many dismal sounds.


Staccato leaves crunch,

ochres clatter on the ash,

how 'bout some Glenn Gould?


Would it be too crass

to shout "polyphonic jerk"

at that hill's quilt-face?


"Poetry is verb,"

says cummings. I don't believe

in a single noun.

October 26, 2004 at 08:21 PM · Laurie, is this poetry in moderation?

October 27, 2004 at 01:13 AM · Greetings,

its poetry 101. We should debate de merits and de demerits of dis stuff,



October 27, 2004 at 01:34 AM · ROFL

October 27, 2004 at 01:51 AM · I'm always down for critique.

The haiku which caught my attention are: the one that referenced Kenny G, all of Phil Kurian's, Sue's tuning/lesson over, and of course all the prune inuendos and the silly ones (though I always go for the narrative first).

If anyone is interested--many people don't realize they can enjamb lines in haiku and tweak the form, rather than end each line with a clause. Why limit oneself so rigidly, especially given the translated formula which does not make as much sense in our language perhaps?

Furthermore I know of many American haiku-writers who do not follow the traditional syllabic prescription, and their work is still considered haiku.

To me a haiku is not about syllables, but about conveying a brief flash of reality. To me a good haiku should feel like a brushstroke, a gesture that sketches a moment with rustic sensitivity. But what do I know, not much really, only that I am running out of shampoo.

Oh...wanted to ask Laurie or anyone, why does Emil get his name highlighted? I mean we all know he's a rockstar...

Best to all,


October 27, 2004 at 02:03 AM · Greetings,

I think it`s so I don`t mispell it and he accidently gets addressed as Email,



October 27, 2004 at 02:21 AM · Kismet, close your can

Of worms, and get thee to the

Moderation thread.

October 27, 2004 at 02:33 AM · Where O where might this

thread be, its location's a

complete mystery.

October 27, 2004 at 02:55 AM · Greetings,

a-tisket a -tasket,

it will make you a basket.


October 27, 2004 at 02:53 AM · Touche, my dear! Lol.

On yonder diss board, ye scroll

Down a little more

And ye shall find thread: Moderation

System. Fare thee well!

October 27, 2004 at 03:24 AM · Dear girl, do you mean

the thread called moderation

system, which has been

left undisturbed since

yesterday? If so, why do

I want to be there...

October 27, 2004 at 03:30 AM · Kismet talks of a flash of reality:

Which reality

Where asks the brahmin's son, in

Or around the cloud?

(What happens when you

Write haiku on

After reading Hesse)

October 27, 2004 at 03:41 AM · Greetings,

an excess of Hesse

makes a helluva mess,



October 27, 2004 at 04:38 AM · My stars, such lovely thoughts, friends.

October 27, 2004 at 05:07 AM · Lovely haiku, Jude...

I had a Buddhist contribution, but deleted it...'twas a bit too over-the-top in my typical fashion. And given my fever and delirium, well, I just won't be held responsible for what might've been said.

btw do you say Hesse with one syllable or two?



October 27, 2004 at 06:22 AM · i say it with one personally. but then i say "buri" with one as well, so take that for what its worth.

October 27, 2004 at 06:50 AM · Greetings,

I throw up on one syllable.



October 27, 2004 at 02:01 PM · Owen is a founding member of the Committee Against Vowels.

October 27, 2004 at 03:22 PM ·

October 27, 2004 at 03:19 PM · Hmm, Hesse is probably 2 syllables really, but that haiku decided it should be one for metrical purposes. Could someone who actually knows German comment on that?

October 27, 2004 at 03:34 PM · It's two syllables; just wondering whether you were of the "Hess" or of the "Hessuh" school. ;)

October 27, 2004 at 05:27 PM · i say H-S

no vowels for me.

October 27, 2004 at 06:20 PM · Owen "the Snake" Sutter.

October 27, 2004 at 07:47 PM · lol,

to get an idea of how i say buri. drink a fifth of whisky and try to say bury. watch out for drool.

October 27, 2004 at 08:30 PM · What a lovely image that conjures...thank you. I know all about the whiskey slur. I was runner-up in the annual Slur-Off back in Hornell, NY, where I grew up.

October 27, 2004 at 09:16 PM · Posted about a bazillion times on the net but meh...

Willard Espy -

"I ku; you ku; he,

She, or it ku; we ku; you

Ku; they ku. Thanku"

October 27, 2004 at 11:20 PM · I Kun, personally. And Buri, if you throw up on one syllable, I'd hate to see what you do on one prune.

October 27, 2004 at 11:34 PM · Greetings,

Owen, I believe you have reduced me to a French cheese,



October 27, 2004 at 11:52 PM · If one had to be reduced, not a bad choice...

October 28, 2004 at 12:55 AM · reduced?

October 28, 2004 at 02:44 AM · mmm, brie.

October 28, 2004 at 04:47 AM · State your answer in the form of a poem, please. This is a poetry thread. Ahem.

October 28, 2004 at 05:55 AM · Greetings,

I believe you have reduced me to a French cheese,

If one had to be reduced, not a bad choice...


mmm, brie.

Laurie, what could be more poetic than this collective effort?



October 28, 2004 at 06:30 AM · mmm, mmm, mmm, mmm, brie,

and it's good with crackers, too...

...something about fall.

October 28, 2004 at 01:12 PM · Brie with warm apples

plus a fine glass of merlot

ensure rosy cheeks.


Here's a fresh baguette

for the brie in the oven.

Merdre, where's that beret...


Tonight we're watching

'Jean de Florette'; we've got some

good brie and good wine.


Something about a

soft white wheel and sun-filled grapes

that makes death easy.

October 28, 2004 at 05:42 PM · All well and good, but--

"Death and Transfiguration:"

what makes THAT easy?

October 28, 2004 at 06:35 PM · fingers are not cold

the sweet scent of hot rosin

a bead of sweat rolls

the slivers of light

the specks floating around

breathing slows and stills

behind closed eyelids

images dancing, swirling

heat rises again

notes on paper lines

fading in and out always

just a little more

the phone rings and dies

images swirling, fading

light shifts and moves, gone

eyes open now stare

dogs bark leaves are blown away

hammers on rooftops

fingers are not cold

the stench of freshly cut grass

the sweetness is gone

October 29, 2004 at 12:30 AM · Oooh, hats off to Jeff and Kismet for some good stuff! Lovely-jubbly, as we say here in Britain, in our best non-rhyming slang.

October 29, 2004 at 07:36 AM · thanks — Means a lot coming from someone wearing the "A" ;P

November 4, 2004 at 03:25 PM · i don't write haikus, i only write that okay?...then what am i doing here?!

November 4, 2004 at 11:56 PM · Greetings,

Beats me,

have some tea,


November 5, 2004 at 09:15 PM · Time moving forward

Never to return

Used for Haiku writing

Stolen from practicing

Violinists Repent!

November 5, 2004 at 09:40 PM · Greetings,

what could be finer,

than a pungent three-liner,

from Oliver Steiner?



November 6, 2004 at 01:40 AM · Bach in G minor?

November 6, 2004 at 02:36 AM · %$# in a diner?

November 6, 2004 at 03:04 AM · slapping a shriner?

November 6, 2004 at 03:17 AM · To play Eine Kleine?

November 6, 2004 at 03:20 AM · again?

November 6, 2004 at 03:22 AM · A Little More Night Music?

November 6, 2004 at 07:43 AM · Depends how you use it.


November 6, 2004 at 12:36 PM · As the saying goes:

'know your enema."



January 23, 2005 at 11:05 PM · resurrecting thread

Lisa made me look for it

hey make up some more

January 24, 2005 at 05:26 AM · As a side note, if anyone is really in to haiku on atypical topics, look for the two sets of haiku on economics that my father has published in the journal, Rethinking Marxism.

January 24, 2005 at 06:50 AM · hey capitalist

maybe haiku will make you

rethink marxism

January 24, 2005 at 10:32 PM · Call the F.B.I.

SUBJECT: commie haiku book

AUTHOR: Ziliak


That strong, steely sound

Mullova is a goddess

I think I love her

January 24, 2005 at 11:02 PM · Listening to Bach

They make it sound so easy

Why can't I do that?


While practicing, I

start to think of more haikus;

and lose my focus


Shosty concerto

1 is amazing; I'll shoot

all who don't agree


My shoulders are sore

Could be six hours of practice

What was I thinking?


Mathis der Mahler

streaming through my earphones like

a colorful dream

January 25, 2005 at 01:14 AM · i'm a booger eatin' maniac

January 25, 2005 at 01:15 AM · ;ljipj'pj'pihj'pihn'ihknknm m. ,jhkg gilhgliygiyyhiuy9liuyo97i

January 25, 2005 at 01:25 AM · Hell personified:

Filing my tax return to

My mom's flute practice

January 31, 2005 at 02:44 AM · I think this came to me in a dream.

Your vibrato's sharp.

Hmmm. Your finger is crooked.

See you next week Jim.

January 31, 2005 at 03:12 AM · I fund a fairy on stage,

he played Beethoven...

I am in love

it is not measured well...but i like it!!

January 31, 2005 at 03:35 AM · the OR game is long

Whoever started it's cool

it will never end :p

January 31, 2005 at 05:56 AM · I love Gil Shaham

His Beethoven is the best

I want to hug him!

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