“Of all languages, Japanese is by far the richest in onomatopoeic elements, especially of the simpler variety, in which the sound of the word is directly an imitation of the thing.
I had never heard of onomatopoeia until I discovered haiku in the late eighties, but I learned through the years that haiku are made, written, composed for saying aloud twice (or more times). Haiku are written down but the essence of haiku is this onomatopoeia. How we say a thing is of more importance, of more significance, than what we say, the conscious meaning; for through the tones of the voice, the words chosen, their combination, the sounds echoing and reechoing one another, their concords suspended and reestablished, their discords sustained and resolved, through all this there is a music as free and yet as law-abiding as is that of the flute, the oboe and the violin.
Japanese is a language of sounds as we can see in the three-lined form of haiku with its 5-7-5 sound-units (or onji). Japanese people are part of nature, they are one with the sounds of nature and therefor haiku became what it is … the poetry of nature …”
hi wa hi kure yo yo wa yo ake yo to naku kaeru
“day, ah, darken day!
night, ah, dawn away!”
chant the frogs
We may summarize the function of onomatopoeia in the following way:
1.) The direct representation of the sounds of the outside world by the sounds of the voice;
2.) The representation of movement, or physical sensations other than that of sound;
3.) The representation of soul states. This is always indirect, unconscious, spontaneous. Great poetry depends chiefly for its effect upon this factor. It cannot be imitated or artificially produced;
open the gate
she bubbles to life
The haiku writing lesson is courtesy of Kristjaan Panneman at Chevrefeuilles Carpe Diem.
I am currently drawing the above gate.
hand in active pursuit
eye joins in