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Haiku and Temporality: Exploring the Philosophy of Time through Poetry

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Sierra Shellabarger

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Tampa

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Dr. Benjamin Young

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Haiku is a type of micropoetry originating from Japan. The style has several elements: three phrases, including a kireji, a word that 'cuts' the poem into two, and a kigo, a seasonal reference word. In my research, I examined haiku as a mode of temporal expression through the lens of a philosopher. Haiku inherently have several temporal aspects. For one, they almost always include a seasonal element, which can connect to deeper temporal motifs like aging, death, or rebirth. Haiku are also written in the present tense, which brings both the writer and the reader into a more present state of mind. But haiku also can be interpreted as a way of analyzing the differences between the eastern and western modes of experiencing/interpreting time. In my research, I compare the temporal philosophy of haiku to the temporal philosophy promoted by the Chinese spiritual tradition of Daoism. Overall, I will argue that writing and reading haiku can offer a unique temporal experience that helps bring one into the present moment, and possibly become more grounded and focused on the sensory world around them.

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Haiku and Temporality: Exploring the Philosophy of Time through Poetry

Haiku is a type of micropoetry originating from Japan. The style has several elements: three phrases, including a kireji, a word that 'cuts' the poem into two, and a kigo, a seasonal reference word. In my research, I examined haiku as a mode of temporal expression through the lens of a philosopher. Haiku inherently have several temporal aspects. For one, they almost always include a seasonal element, which can connect to deeper temporal motifs like aging, death, or rebirth. Haiku are also written in the present tense, which brings both the writer and the reader into a more present state of mind. But haiku also can be interpreted as a way of analyzing the differences between the eastern and western modes of experiencing/interpreting time. In my research, I compare the temporal philosophy of haiku to the temporal philosophy promoted by the Chinese spiritual tradition of Daoism. Overall, I will argue that writing and reading haiku can offer a unique temporal experience that helps bring one into the present moment, and possibly become more grounded and focused on the sensory world around them.