Psaiku is a new form of poetic expression, based on an ancient form of poetic expression: Haiku. Haiku, for those of you who may not have heard of it before, is a very short, structured poem. It is three lines, and has a rhythm that is unique. The first line typically has five syllables, the second line has seven syllables, and the third line, again five syllables, and looks like this:
A fox in the snow
Is an incandescent flame
Burning in the cold
The language that haiku are based on is Japanese. Without going into a language course, Japanese is a syllabic language. It's very different than English, where our most beautiful literary language is based on meter. You may have heard of iambic pentameter - that sort of thing. The Japanese do not have an alphabet based on letters. What makes them unique among other languages, can best perhaps be shown in the beginnings of what a recitation of their equivalent of ABC's looks like:
and so forth....
Those funky Japanese characters you see in Japanese writing usually stand for one or more syllables. But enough about haiku and the Japanese:
Psaiku is a form of expression based in this ancient form of poetry, with a twist. Since ours is not a syllabic language, when Haiku are translated, half of the beauty of haiku is typically lost - its unique rhythm. Since Haiku themes are that of nature, we still get the gist of what the original author is attempting to say. If we attempt to keep the structure to 5-7-5, most likely we probably lost something significant, that would otherwise be miraculous in Japanese. That's where Psaiku begins.
Copyright 1998-2012 Bob Meyers
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This page was last updated on 03/26/12.