May 25, 2009

Haiku ( a revision )

Yes .. its week for haikus again !! and thats for a reason ... so all ya poets and potesses, unleash the colors of haiku each day ..

Please know about Syllable in my previous post before you proceed to learn haiku.


Haiku (also called nature or seasonal haiku) is an unrhymed Japanese verse onsisting of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five syllables (5-7-5) or 17 syllables in all.Haiku is usually written in the present tense and focuses on nature(seasons).

This is a traditional definition of haiku.But for beginning, we can try to stick to writing just a 5-7-5 form of three line poem. If its about nature, all the better.



water droplet pure,
nature lost another life,
cloudy tears on us.

Helpful Hints on Haikus ( copied from here)

1) Haiku is generally not written in one long run on sentence. It is generally written in two parts.You have a fragment on the first or the last line, then you have the body of the haiku.


winter sun--
a cyclist pedals
against the wind

Copyright © 2000 Kathy Lippard Cobb, April 2001 Heron's Nest

or like this:

a cyclist pedals
against the wind--
winter sun

A good structure for beginning haiku poets is:

subject and action (on two lines)

2) Haiku is not written in the past, nor does it cover a long period of time.It is in the moment. It is about taking ordinary moments, and making them extraordinary.

3) Haiku usually contains a season word (called kigo). It is not a requirement, but season words are a big part of haiku.Haiku is a short poem, and must contain some substance. It should not be just a weather report.

4) Haiku is usually not written in three sentence fragments. There is usually one fragment and a phrase on the other two lines.

5) Haiku does not use metaphor, personification, simile, or many other poetic devices so popular in other forms of poetry. It is about the essence of a moment, stated simply.

6) The majority of haiku do not use capitalization and use minimal punctuation (though you may see a few who do this).

7) Avoid "so what" moments. These are haiku that are stated so simply that they're boring.Example:

winter afternoon--
I walk to the store
and back again

8) Avoid photo haiku -- haiku that are nothing more than snapshots, do not focus on a specific moment or image, and have no real resonance or action.


crowded pub--
cocktail glasses line
the corner of the bar

It's not only boring, but it's too common of an image. It is not focusing on one specific moment.

This is just an overall picture in a bar, it doesn't really say anything. It's just a "so what" moment that occurs in every bar in the world.

You can make this more interesting, by focusing on something specific or a specific person.


happy hour--
a redhead scrawls her name
in the window frost

Here I even worked in a season word, "frost." I focused on one person, not the entire bar.

9) Avoid cause and effect in haiku -- where something in one part of the haiku causes action in the second part.


heavy rain--
my shirt clings
to my body

It's not only boring, it's too obvious. You can have cause and effect, IF it's contained in one part of the haiku.


a leaf spirals
in the summer wind--
his good-bye letter

This kind of cause and effect is o.k., as it's contained in one part of the haiku. Then, you can add something else for the third line, such as I did here. I used a good-bye letter to juxtapose with the leaf. These are two very lonely images. You can add whatever you like in the third line. Don't tell the reader they should feel lonely, show it.

There ARE haiku that have cause and effect, where something in the first part of the haiku, causes action in the second half.

However, usually, there is another level of meaning present. It's not just simple cause and effect, as in my "heavy rain" example.

10) Show don't tell. This is confusing to many writers. It certainly was to me. We all know that the English language, or ANY language, TELLS. I have never heard of a "story shower."However, what it means to show don't tell, is that instead of saying that you are sad, lonely, or that you love someone, try to show it.Instead of telling your emotions, show it by using concrete imagery.

Example of telling:

the funeral over--
the house is so lonely
without him

Example of showing:

the funeral over--
his aftershave lingers
in our bedroom

This shows loneliness. However, the phrase "I'm lonely" is nowhere in this poem. This is just one of many examples of show don't tell.

Sorry friends.. as i keep on searching online for links, am learning all over again myself .. here are few links i loved :

Tiny words

Haiku Monk ( loved the pics with the haikus here )

I guess enough of rules and links for a three line poetry .. So go ahead friends and fill this lounge with your creative haikus..

Write on!!!


  1. That was some effort!! Let me try this and see how well it comes... ;)

  2. i awoke
    the sun had risen
    spreading bright light

    still learning ;)

  3. its a 3 line poem alright.. but the syllable count ?? thats the basic dear ... leave alone other rules as of now !!

  4. Hey,I'm stuck up with this stupid sickness..
    Mum doesn't lets me get up..
    But nevertheless,I will try coming up with something by tomorrow.

    This one is more interesting & challenging,than the former one.

    Love you,Prats..!!

  5. I agree this is a bit more challenging .. but its the best way to teach syllable bound writes .. there r a lot of variations of haiku .. we will go and visit each of them.. i pledge to learn with you dearie :)

    and tk cre of yourself.. haikus can wait ...

    Love ya !!
    *a warm hug*

  6. oooo nice nice.. something new to try out.. will give it a short.. not tht great with poems though.. but will give it a shot..

  7. I'm tired of thanking you ... I know the more I thank you, the more you will ingite inspiration in me ... but alas! You wont stop, even if I dont ... so ... thanks again!!

    And I will look into the thing tomorrow once I reach office!! Till then ...

  8. ha ha .. i love to teach things as much as i love to learn ... so you will have to bear with me !!

  9. wow that was some efforts prats.. i am gonna try writing one... next time when i come online i hope i will be with a haiku in my lap..

    haiku sounds like a cute name for a baby too :P

  10. yeah.. lot of cute babies(poems) waiting to be acknowledged dear kajal!!

  11. That was very interesting to know...!!

    (Thank you)*(1000) ..!!


  12. bas re ,,, plz stop thanking me Arjun..


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