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The SciFaiku Group

Join the SciFaiku Group at Yahoo! for sharing poetry, comments, and ideas. This is the best place to get started with a supportive community.

SciFaiku Frequently-Asked Questions

What's a scifaijin? People on the mailing list have gravitated toward this term to mean "SciFaiku poet", just as the Japanese term for haiku poet is "haijin".

What's the status of the 5-7-5 syllable rule for SciFaiku? Haiku is traditionally written in 3 lines of 5,7,5 syllables, though in modern English haiku this is quite frequently relaxed. Why? Lots of reasons probably, but among the more compelling reasons, the pattern comes from Japanese, and its applicability to English is somewhat dubious (syllables in the 2 languages aren't equivalent, etc.). In any case, the people on the mailing list seem to value reading SciFaiku even if it's not in 5-7-5 form (as long as it strives for minimalism), but everyone seems to respect the discipline of trying to write in 5-7-5 for those who feel the need...

What's a contrail? A one-line scifaiku bordering on aphorism, with an SF or fantasy observation or definition. The link is NOT literal; it's an allegory, allusion, analogy, or Zen pun. The syllable count should be as minimal as possible.

Two examples, one humorous, one serious :

Ur - Decline and fall of prehistory

Origami - hyperspace model

What's a one-breath? A scifaiku in two short phrases on one line or two. The link between phrases may be allegorical or allusion, but must have an SF or fantasy component.

Two examples :

Hey diddle diddle -- jet-propelled cow

lights on all night     Geigeresque bath fixtures

Suggestions for this FAQ came from numerous helpers. The one-breath and contrail were defined by Mary Margaret Serpento. Errors are, of course, mine. Thanks to everyone.

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