There was so little violent public outcry last time I wheeled out the notorious Moshemoshe Dareno-otakudesuka’s1 famous Hairimeraku , that I say “Damn the protest marchers and lets’s do it again!”
But first a quick refresher for any of you who have been lucky enough to have forgotten all about them.
Back in the sixteenth century a group of Irishmen from the County of Limerick emigrated to Japan and promptly greeted the then modern Japanese craze of the haiku, by creating the hairimeraku which of course blended the latter with the verse forms of their former native Limerick.
Any-what, suffice it to say that the hairimeraku is a wonderfully difficult and condensed form, consisting of seventeen on (a term that can loosely be translated as ‘syllable’) in five lines, rhyming upon the fourth, eighth, eleventh, fourteenth and seventeenth on, in the pattern AABBA and typically having both seasonal and salacious aspects, as befits their combined ancestry.
Finally, to end our analytical disquisition, before moving on to some moving examples of the poetry, here is a rare recording, from the mid-1950s, of Jean-Paul Sartre and Jacques Derrida discussing whether hairimeraku have any literary qualities at all(those of you not fluent en français will have to bear with us for un moment)
[a scratchy recording] “Oui!” “Non!” “Oui!” “Non!!” “Oui!!!” “Non!!!” “Oui!” “Non!” “Oui!” “Non!”
Exciting, but we’ll have to ..
“Oui!” “Non!” “Oui!” “Non!” “Oui!” “Non!”
…catch up with those twits later. Preferably much later.
And now… the Hairimeraku themselves and for your especial delight, not to mention comprehension, these, rather than being from the C16...and in Japanese or Gaoidhealg, are modern and in English, and even more delightfully, are almost all not by me: you see I follow one of those blog thingies, called "The Digital Cuttlefish" run by an anonymous professor (or possibly an actual cuttlefish—he, she or it has never really made it clear) and on a time, suffering the usual laziness of the long distance essayist, I solicited unpaid (though not necessarily uncredited) original work in the medium. I once I told them they would possibly be broadcast on Weekend Radio sometime in the future (since the past is already taken) I was promptly and completely overwhelmed! I actually had to select, not necessarily the best, but a tiny portion of the submissions such as would fit, and as promised I am crediting them (though only by their noms de clavier)
I asked for hairimeraku with the breadth (if not the length) of a Paradise Lost, or an Inferno, and I got (from our eponymous Cuttlefish himself):
“In the beginning”and
Too much sinning
“Abandon hope”Though some leapt for the more Luimneachian aspects, like Outeast with his
The damned grope
–Ask the Pope
do not demeanothers for the seasonal, like poor CatMat
my chosen scene
Springtime diseaseor more subtly like memehunter on the final exam season
Pollen in breeze
This way flies
-Think I’ll sneeze
What bodes ill next?or even the current news season as zekehoskin
Bad essay text.
Read and weep,
Slice it deep,
Feel less vexed.
Rancher won’t payThen there’s zackoz getting all Shakespearian with ‘Revenge’
Might is right
If you’re white -
Dead his sire,or rikitiki’s humble acceptance of the notoriety of hairimerakuing
To Hamlet’s ire.
For some, deserved,
But *all* expire.
I’ve no dispute
Use my name – cute!
Though mine’s lame
Part of the game
and now I suppose I have to shrug off the long-distance-essayist laziness for a bit and close with one of my own poor efforts titled
The Wrath of Camus (upon an unfortunate visit to the Zoo)
Albert Camusand now, with you no doubt desperately wanting me to say it...
Hit by gnu doo:
Cried “In Spring
Now gnu too!”2
Cheerio for now
Here is a link to the Digital Cuttlefish page so you can see how many good poems I left out.
1 It’s a little known fact about Moshemoshe Dareno-otakudesuka is that while he is normally known by that appellation it is (of course) just his Japanese name. His original Gaoidhealg name was Take O’Takemeasiam.
2 Which at the very least manages the correct unmarked plural for game
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