What’s a cirku?

A cirku is a haiku presented in a circular form, with gaps indicating lineation. You read the poem clockwise, usually beginning at about the one o’clock position. The reader is free, however, to start on any ‘line’. A true cirku will work, irrespective of which gap you begin reading it from. It is not easy to compose a good one! The example below was written in 2006 at Grassington, not far from where I was born. The Yorkshire Dales are the rolling grassy remnants of glaciated valleys. The town is in Upper Wharfedale and has a pretty, cobbled market square at its heart. That day, a Caribbean steel band was playing there. ‘cowpats’ are 牛のふん
Presenting a haiku with a complementary photo has been called both shahai and haisha (from shashin, the Japanese for ‘photo’), but I prefer the term haipho.
Click on the photo to read the cirku and enlarge!
Then click on ‘go back one page’ (top left of your screen) to return to the ICEBOX.

4 Responses to “What’s a cirku?”

  1. This cirku post is to celebrate our first 100 hits (see sidebar for latest count). So far, about half of them are probably mine, made while designing/adjusting the site. I hope my own input will now be able to tail off a bit, as other authors take over …

  2. oo a ki naj foto naj kun a jo se nuk po muj me gjet

  3. a e keni ju more naj foto hahahahu

  4. For anyone interested in seeing further examples of cirku with photos, click on the Icebox header to return to the top page, where you will find a search box. Type into it the word ‘cirku’. It will bring up a list of posts, amongst which Woodland birdsong, Cirku from South Island, A cirku for Fujiwara Teika, and At Jingoji will be of interest to you. Click over any of those post titles to see the photo-accompanied cirku themselves. Click on the photo and it will become larger.
    The word ‘cirku’, by the way, I coined over here in Japan while teaching and publishing English haiku in the 1990s. Perhaps you’ll agree: it fits!

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