New Centric Writers : Forum : How to write a Haiku

How to write a Haiku

12 Years Ago

Haiku is a poetic form and a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. Haiku poets, which you will soon be, write about everyday things. Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences. Usually they use simple words and grammar. The most common form for Haiku is three short lines. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. Haiku doesn't rhyme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind. This is the challenge of Haiku - to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind in ONLY 17 syllables over just three (3) lines of poetry! Check out some Haiku at Haiku Salon (see Lesson 2 for the link).


An old silent pond...A frog jumps into the pond,splash! Silence again. 
Autumn moonlight—a worm digs silentlyinto the chestnut. 
Lightning flash—what I thought were facesare plumes of pampas grass. 
Here are three haiku from Kobayashi Issa:O snailClimb Mount Fuji,But slowly, slowly! 
Trusting the Buddha, good and bad,I bid farewellTo the departing year. 
Everything I touchwith tenderness, alas,pricks like a bramble. 
Three examples of the haiku of Yosa Buson are offered here:A summer river being crossedhow pleasingwith sandals in my hands! 
Light of the moonMoves west, flowers' shadowsCreep eastward. 
In the moonlight,The color and scent of the wisteriaSeems far away. 
Natsume Soseki lived from 1867 - 1916.  He was a novelist and master of the haiku. Here are a couple of examples of his poems:Over the wintryforest, winds howl in  ragewith no leaves to blow. 
The crow has flown away:swaying in the evening sun,a leafless tree.  Recent PoemsFollowing are some recent examples of haiku poems:Falling to the ground,I watch a leaf settle downIn a bed of brown. 
A cricket disturbedthe sleeping child; on the porcha man smoked and smiled. 
I'm turning overlook out and give me room thereyou cricket, you.