How to Haiku

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Haiku (俳句 high-koo) are short poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience.

It is the Japanese idea that the haiku should be able to be expressed in one breath.

The Japanese word kiru, which means “cutting,” expresses the notion that haiku should always contain two juxtaposed ideas. The two parts are grammatically independent, and are distinct in imagery.

The season or changing of the seasons,  in Japanese, kigo, is an essential element of haiku.

Two ideas about one subject using the senses,. Ah Haiku!
Traditional haiku is written in three lines,  five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line.

From Poets.org

.A traditional Japanese haiku is a three-line poem with seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression

Nature, season, two images, don’t say the feeling, just the images which share the feeling.

 

The Haiku Handbook by William J. Higginson:

 

  1. Write two lines about something beautiful in nature. You can use the pictures below to give you ideas. Don’t worry about counting syllables yet.
  2. Write a third line that is a complete surprise, that is about something completely different from the first two lines.
  3. Look at the three lines together. Does the combination of these two seemingly unrelated parts suggest any surprising relationships? Does it give you any interesting ideas?
  4. Now rewrite the poem, using the 5-syllable, 7-syllable, 5-syllable format and experimenting with the new ideas or perspectives that have occurred to you.

 

 

 

haiku poems

 

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