and Retreat led by Alan Summers
Claridge House, Surrey,
Surrey RH7 6QH
South East England
(just outside London)
For enquiries and booking information
Phone: 01342 832150
Phone: 0845 3457281
A gentle immersive course where we study what makes a haiku poem, and how to write them. Using Classic and Contemporary haiku examples from Japan and other countries, we will learn that our own experiences can become haiku poetry, and act as an important record of our life.
*[more about haiku poetry at the end of the page]
Finding Claridge House:
There may be some people who think, I know what haiku is, do I need a short residential course?
photo©Rosee aka ridlydidlysventures
It is surprising just how much there is to learn about haiku and how the enjoyment can be tripled, quadrupled even.
|photo©Rosee aka ridlydidlysventures|
The residential course starts Monday late afternoon after scrumptious teas and coffees, cakes and biscuits, in a leisurely get to know each other before we get to any workshopping at all.
it will be a delightful introduction
for those who know a little about haiku
it will be an astonishing journey to find out just how much more there is to know and enjoy.
and a souvenir Haiku Journal notebook with our renga verses, and exchange of haiku from each other!
Friday is breakfast and saying goodbyes and hopefully staying in touch!
Comments from previous haiku and renga workshops:
student, SW England, October 2011
"As you probably know by now, I use every corner of my life as a way of reflection of my psychological personal development - haiku in itself is great for this, but working with you has just elevated the experience a 100 fold. I can not put into words how much this has meant to me, so as I tried to say on the phone the haiku is almost secondary, but of course both mean a lot to me. Your support over the last couple of years or so have just been such an amazing gift to me - bless you."
student, SW England, September 2011
"we really enjoyed the renga event...it was a very intensely creative act, and I was really struck by the renga form itself, what it could be capable of...a whole new poetic energy"
"Thanks again for a wonderful poetry session."
Yu Yan, U.S. citizen currently visiting England
"I just wanted to thank you again for such a great event...I want to do some more!"
"Thanks so much for yesterday's renga event - it was fantastic! Really got the creative juices flowing. Let me know when the next one is, I will definitely attend!" Tracey, Bath
"Looks like I missed a fantastic event..I hope to be at the next one."
Caroline, Bristol (she was!)
"More! More!" Libby, Bristol
"It is so tempting to get involved in renku/renga with all the excitement you...generate."
We've had first timers to haiku as well as seasoned haiku writers attending, and everyone benefits from the atmosphere, and doesn't need to lift a finger to have food and liquid refreshments.
The vegetarian and vegan food, covers all dietary needs, non-gluten,
non-wheat, non-dairy etc... and is fantastic.
Plenty of organised tea, coffee, non-caffeine hot drinks, cold drinks,
homemade cakes, lots of biscuits including non-gluten and non-wheat etc...
This is our second time with Purely Haiku, and the whole experience is excellent value, and it isn't just for the price of the course, but superb food, accomodation, being catered for throughout the day etc...
"There are as many descriptions of haiku as there are stars in the night sky: this is mine." Alan Summers, founder of With Words.
An English-language haiku is often written in three short lines and read out loud in about six seconds. 'Haiku' is the singular and plural spelling, there's no 'haikus'.
They're written in the present tense, in ordinary language, and work well as two different images that spark off each other.
It's good to include one or more senses such as sound, smell, taste or touch, and not just what we can see.
Haiku don't tell, or merely describe, they allow the reader to enter the poem in their own way.
They are ideal for non-fiction observations as a kind of short-hand for remembering events or incidents.
They can be therapeutic and they exercise both the right and the left side of the brain.
Traditionally haiku are rooted in natural history and the seasons, and make us conspirators with wildlife, as nature half-writes the haiku before we've even put pen to paper.
Haiku have a seasonal clue called kigo in Japanese. Obvious season words are snow for winter; and heatwave for summer; but you could use less obvious kigo like beer for summer, and Orion or Orion's Belt for winter.
Where does haiku come from?
Haiku evolved from a "first verse" called hokku; they often look incomplete as they originated from a linked verse poem where the first verse (hokku) was finished by the second verse and then the second verse was completed by the third verse and so on.
'Hokku' held a special place in the multi-poet-multi-linking-verse-poem known as renga, or renku, which enjoyed a renaissance in 17th Century Japan: people started collecting them, as not all the composed hokku, on the day could be chosen to start off the renga.
Japanese writers began to adapt foreign literary techniques into their poetry as Japan in the late 18th century, when it was opened up to the West. Journalist, writer, and poet Masaoka Shiki took full advantage when he officially made hokku an independent poem in the 1890s and called them "haiku" (singular and plural spelling) bringing this poem into the 20th Century.
Alan Summers (2009)