Thursday, May 31, 2012

A phd in a haiku. Taming a meandering river

Could you write your phd in a haiku?
Over at dissertation haiku the invitation is to post your dissertation in haiku format
I found this a bit more evocative than the pragmatics of the 160 character text rendition I wrote.
And surprisingly it awakened me to really consider what it is I'm studying. And hence to clarify why it is I keep going off track; its because i have two things (at least) happening simultaneously.

Haiku 1.
Regarding the study:

Enactments of change
Whats thought? whats done?
Reality multiplies

Haiku 2.
Regarding the site of study:

silent and invisible
still i talk, and you listen
whats with that?

A very short form of Japanese poetry typically characterised by three qualities:
The essence of haiku is "cutting" (kiru).
This is often represented by the juxtaposition of two images or ideas
And a kireji or 'cutting word' between them. A kind of verbal punctuation mark signalling the moment of separation and this colours the manner in which the juxtaposed elements are related.
Traditional haiku consist of 17 syllables on
In three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on respectively.
Any one of the three phrases may end with the kireji.

(Although I have described haiku as based on 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and on are not the same, but close enough for my purposes)


  1. Thanks for sharing this, Ailsa.

    Quite clever and creative and clear and focused on the essence itself. I think this may be helpful for framing the research along the way, too. Will try my hand in this.


  2. Hi Jeffrey, I found it stopped me in my tracks. I have a huge tendency to meander and to lose my way. Little moves such as this help remind me of what it is I am studying.

  3. I don't profess to be that learn-ed. I have a tatoo, one that I acquired @ the age of 40: "Heikoukankaku" - Japanese Kanji for "Sense of Equilibrium, sense of balance." Sometimes that's all I can hope for - balance.

  4. Balance would be a good thing. But personally I'm going to draw the line metaphorically, at tattooing my thesis 8-)

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