What is Haiku?

woman wearing a kimono holding umbrella

Hello everyone, ’tis the first of October and Autumn is upon us. To start the month off, I’m introducing an interesting writing form known as haiku. I learned about this art style from my monthly writers’ group—and I wrote up a few examples to share with you all. With that said, let’s delve into it! 🙂

—What is Haiku?—

Haiku is a short-form poetry originating from Japan. The general structure of a haiku poem is simple, but the meaning is usually deep and spiritual. It uses a few words to evoke vivid imagery in the reader’s mind.

There is a sense of stillness and wonderment within the words, as if for meditation. Many famous haikus are short and simple while packing a punch—so to speak.

Haiku Structure

Haiku is usually in three lines of words. The first line has five syllables, while the second line has seven syllables, and the third line has five again.

Haiku Subjects

To reiterate, haiku poems usually focus on the following:

  • Nature
  • Spiritual matters
  • Life and its fleeting moments
  • Humor

A haiku may have a “season word” like rainfall or snow, telling the reader what season it is and adding depth to the imagery. There may be a division in the poem, shifting from one focus to another. Instead of describing how a scene makes the author feel, the writer illustrates the details that evoked said emotions

How to Write Haiku

Here are some step-by-step instructions if you’re interested in writing your own haiku.

  1. Relax and focus on your five senses, sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch. Look out your window or perhaps at a scenic picture for inspiration.
  2. Describe the details that stir emotion. Just jot down brief notes or words, for now—nothing complicated.
  3. Next, form two sentences about what you have observed. Don’t worry about syllables yet.
  4. Write the third line with a surprising twist compared to the first two. Does the combination of the two unrelated parts imply anything interesting? What is the message being described by the whole haiku?
  5. Finally, rewrite the poem using the 5-7-5 syllable rule. Experiment and see if you can deepen the poem’s impact.

For more information, check out the links below.

https://www.creative-writing-now.com/how-to-write-a-haiku.html

https://www.familyfriendpoems.com/poems/other/haiku/

https://poets.org/text/haiku-poetic-form

—My Haiku—

Here are some of the poems I wrote up for my writers’ group. I hope you enjoy.

Leaves fall from the tree

Quickly, they glide towards the Earth

Wind in the heavens

The many hills shake

Trees fall and explode anew

Birds cry with terror

The lake becomes still

Like a mirror, the surface

Peace consumes chaos

The sun rises high

The new day is coming soon

Rainbow bulbs sprout below

Singing softly nature

Peace above and below Earth

Stillness, now evermore


Thanks for reading. I’ll have another fun post up soon. Until then, enjoy the cool weather and colorful leaves.

Cheers. 🙂

yellow dry maple

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