Sunday, October 24, 2010

Haiku and Animation

I think I've learned a lot about storytelling from haikus. They are essentially very tiny stories into themselves.

I think that a good story should be a series of moments. A moment being defined as a coupling of action/perception that then produces an emotional response.

We experience the world through our five senses. We see, hear, taste, touch, smell. Followed by these experiences, is usually a feeling. We feel happy, sad, angry, disgusted, scared, surprised, and the infinite variations therein.

A good haiku captures a single moment. In three lines, it sets up a scene, sometimes a very elaborate one, and triggers a feeling in the reader. The brevity of it makes its all the more powerful. Each important moment of a film should have the same punch.

Of course, a film can't be just a series of moments. That's real life. The moments of a good story should all be connected in a meaningful way that creates one big emotional response at the end.

Anyways, so I wanted to share some of my favorite English haikus with you, so you know what the heck I'm talking about.

These are excerpts from The Haiku Anthology. It's a FANTASTIC book. These are only a very very small sampling of the amazing haikus that are in this book.

(When you read them, try to be aware of the feeling that the poem brings up ... )

I stop to listen;
the cricket
has done the same
---Arizona Zipper

first snow ...
the children's hangers
clatter in the closet
---Michael Dylan Welch

my dead bother ....
hearing his laugh
in my laughter
---Nicholas Virgilio

At dawn remembering her bad grammar
---George Swede

the men on both sides
have taken
my armrests
---George Skane

Trying to forget him
the potatoes.
---Alexis Rotella

by the autumn hill
my watercolor box
---Raymond Roseliep

---Alan Pizzarelli

neighbor's children leave...
casually the cat slips out
of the hall closet
---Patricia Neubauer

end of the cold spell
i'd forgotten the color
of my under socks
---Marlene Mountain

hearing us argue,
our old dog tiptoes past
her empty water bowl
---Carol Montgomery

Letting my tongue
deeper into the cool
ripe tomato
---Michael Mcclintock

the old album:
not recognizing at first
my own young face
---Elizabeth Searle Lamb

While the guests order,
the table cloth hides his hands--
counting his money
---Clement Hoyt

commercial break--
the cat and I
head for the kitchen
---William J. Higginson

I hear her sew
I hear the rain
I turn back a page
----Leroy Gorman

Weight lifter
slowly lifting
the tea cup
----Garry Gay

how come
never speaks to me
----Dee Evetts <--- he's amazing ... its hard to choose just one...

Shielding his eyes
with his baseball glove...
first geese
--Bernard Lionel Einbond

between the twirlers
and the marching band
the missing child
----Bruce Detrick

Waiting to see
the odometer's big change ...
missed it!
---Tom Clausen

long meeting
I study the pattern
embossed on the napkin
----Miriam Borne

the telephone
rings only once
autumn rain
----Nick Avis

cool eh?

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