< Omissions >

Introducing the basic rules of haiku in the early part of this writing, I explained the art of omissions at some length. Perhaps no more explanation nay be necessary here.

The Kojien Dictionary defines that 'omission' means to abbreviate and leave out some part in the interest of brevity. Given the definition, what to abbreviate and what to leave out requires a most careful consideration.

Your haiku gains life When you successfully determine key words for expression in 17 syllables. The Words that survived your screening convey implied messages. When you have a lot to say, you find it very difficult to say just a little, don't you?

You can hardly resist saying all you know about your favorite subject and find it difficult again to omit your favorite words. While you are supposed to grow your knowledge, you need to learn how to give up words so that a haiku may carry only those that cannot be spared.

taiy-o no
yatto nozoita
tsuyu no sora (Masaaki)

glimpse of the sun
shoving finally
break of rainy season

This was made by a third-grade student at a junior high school. Apparently he is bored of the gloomy rainy season and eagerly aspires to play in the open air. His youthful joy sparkles at the glimpse of the sun showing finally through a break of the rain. All these emotions are omitted but implied in the word 'finally.' The following is also a haiku made by a junior high school student.

oshiire ni
chiisaklu natta
natsu bohi (Teiichi)

in the closet
grown Small
summer hat

Children grow surprisingly fast. One day quite a few mothers suddenly find theirgrowing children looking down on then. A little summer hat was casually found in the closet, and a fond sentiment of bygone childhood -"I used to be a small child"- must have welled up in the heart of Teiichi. But he properly omitted his sentiment, didn't he ?
A haiku which is stuffed too much has little left in there to impress you.

Omission is the soul of haiku. It contains the whole universe in 17 syllables. Wonderful, isn't it ?

Basho left some impressive remarks on the concept of omission: "All said, nothing left," He means that if you leave nothing unsaid, you leave no room for the reader to comprehend unspoken message.

Basho is a figure we have to talk about as ve talk about haiku, But this snail book cannot afford an in-depth reference to this giant nor his travel diaries like 'Oku no hosomichi" and "Nozarashi kiko," or haikai collections of "Basho seven books", or his other excellent poems and writings on haiku. Let me just say this much: Basho made numerous works of excellence and elevated haikai to the level of established art popularly called "Sh-o-fu"(Basho-Way). He earned credit for developing many distinguished haiku students including Kikaku(1661`1707) and Kyorai(1651`1704), also exerted much influence over Buson and other prominent haiku poets in later days. He has been and will remain the most highly appreciated in the history of haikai.In 1694 Basho closed 51 years of life with many of his students in attendance.