Interview: Richard Schnell on the International Haiku Festival

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The verse of Far East

A North Country festival

Awash in Haiku

That’s my attempt to introduce, by Haiku, the International Haiku Conference and Festival currently underway at SUNY Plattsburgh. But my Haiku likely wouldn’t pass muster at the festival.

For one thing, contrary to popular belief, Haiku is not wedded to the 5-7-5 syllable structure I used a moment ago. In fact, there are no set-in-stone rules regarding the ancient Japanese poetry form.

Professor Richard Schnell of SUNY Plattsburgh says Haiku can vary–in English, it’s generally regarded as any poem of fewer than 17 syllables, Un- rhymed, that evokes a clear, often calm and bucolic mental image of the natural world. And Schnell says that regard for environmental beauty made the North Country an ideal setting for this International celebration of Haiku.

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