Writing this, I came up against one of those thorny questions in language; how may syllables in ‘hours’? It is not the only word to be so confusing, nor is there any definitive help in the dictionaries. Opinions vary, so does pronunciation depending upon regional or national accent…and so does the usage of those poets upon whom we might depend to point the way. Shakespeare, for example, seems to use it as both monosyllabic, disyllabic and sometimes as whatever floats the reader’s literary boat.
There are other words that offer the same problem… things like ‘fire’ and ‘flower’. In poetic forms where syllable count matters, they can be a nightmare for the writer…and a big red target for critics whose pronunciation or rendering of the poem differs from that of its creator.
In the established ‘English form’ of haiku… itself a variant and interpretation of the much older and more…
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