The Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry that came into being in the 17th century. Its formal limitations are very strict. Three lines, 5-7-5 syllables. Traditionally the subject of a haiku is nature, the seasons. A haiku evokes an experience in the here-and-now. Its directness can bring about a moment of enlightenment.
The game is a fusion of oral tradition: learning texts by heart in order to really become one with them; a western traditional game and a Japanese poetic style.
Playing the game allows groups of people or families to work with ‘human awareness of time and place in the presence of nature’. While playing, people can deepen their understanding of the philosophical ideas behind it. It is a fun way to be together and think.
I started writing haiku during my journey through Japan. My Haiku are written for the people of the 21st century. Our nature is our body and mind. But many of us are losing bodily contact with nature. The urban environment has become the natural habitat for at least two thirds of the world population. This affects us in how we can connect to nature and how we experience ourselves. Is it still possible to feel we are parts of a living cosmos? I believe we must find new roads to the inner worlds which lay hidden under the brick and cement of our urban existence. I hope playing the Haiku Quartet game will contribute to that.
The game is played like a traditional game of Quartets. Each player tries to collect sets of four cards, a Quartet. If a player is able to cite the Haiku that he needs, the other players are held to give it to him. The one who gathers the most Quartets, wins.
A Quartet consists of four Haiku dealing with a certain philosophical theme. In the game there are 13 sets, entitled:
|Tenderness||Place and Space||Woman – Man|