A haiku (pronounced high-koo) is short three-line poem that uses sensory language to capture a feeling or image. Haiku poetry was originally developed by Japanese poets. They are often inspired by nature, a moment of beauty, or poignant experience.
Before I dive deep, I’d love to say this:
I believe some of us here know what haiku is and what ‘rules’ there be that guide haiku writing. That’s beautiful. We are here to learn, unlearn and relearn. So, I’d rather you keep your knowledge aside and learn something new today. Alright?
Okay, let’s walk over Jericho.
is a Japanese verse in three lines. Line one has 5 syllables, line 2 has 7 syllables and line three has 5 syllables. Haiku is a mood poem and it doesn’t use any metaphors or similes. Usually when haiku is taught, poets are only given the restriction of the number of lines and syllables. However, for good haiku poetry, more explanation needs to be given. This lecture is for poets who are willing to walk over Jericho walls of rules that restrict, so that you can learn how to create your own haiku poetry.
Note: Haiku mustn’t be 3 lines of 5-7-5 syllables. I’ll give examples as we proceed.
To write a haiku, start by brainstorming ideas for the poem. Then, write the poem with strong details and detailed imagery. Make sure you polish the haiku and listen to how it sounds out loud so it is at its best.
According to Bruce Lansky, the best stimuli for writing haiku are nature hikes, nature photography, or art.
Try this: Write down what you see when you go outside for recess or when you go for a walk in the woods over the weekend. Write down your observations on paper. Depending on the season, you might get observations of nature like the following:
leaves blowing in the wind
snow piling up on unused doors
ducks swimming in a pond during a rainstorm
the first buds on tree branches in your backyard
the first daffodil poking it’s head through the dirt
hungry bees buzzing around a flower garden
Next, try to find two images that create a striking impression when connected and write them down. You might get something like this:
After it started to rain,
fishermen steered their boats toward the shore.
Then, I saw a family of ducks waddle over to the lake and swim across.
OK, now you have to pair the sentence down so it still describes the scene while inviting the reader to marvel at nature. How’s this?
Sudden spring storm-
a family of ducks paddles
around the deserted lake.
Haiku is easy to write. It mustn’t be about nature. You can write on any theme like love, pun, religion, rape, poetry, mother, Africa. All you need do is invoke imagery.
One shark said to the
other when eating a clown
fish: this tastes funny.
Love is like water
fluid that quenches our thirst ’till
one day the drought comes.
Loving and caring
mother is sweet summer rain
that washes my heart.
Imagine a quiet starless night with full moon and write a haiku on whatever theme.
Got questions? The comment box is yours.
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