Monday, June 11, 2012

How to Write Haiku

Writing North Idaho is currently running a haiku poetry contest. Deadline is June 15. Prizes available. How to enter is on the sidebar in the upper left. We would love to read your poems!

Haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry. It generally consists of three lines. The first line has 5 syllables (not words), the second line has seven syllables, and the last line has five. If you read the English translation of great Japanese haiku poets, you will not find this rhythm because of the differences in languages but the essence that goes along with the feeling of haiku is there.

How to write haiku by Jenny Hudock
1. Focus on nature and seasonal imagery (usually).
2. Made up of three lines
3. Lines traditionally follow a 5, 7, 5 beat pattern.
4. Add a reflective pause.
5. Avoid rhyme.
6. Invoke the senses.
7. Show don't tell.
8. Read haiku poetry, it helps.

Japanese poet Bunson
The sea at springtime.
All day it rises and falls,
yes, rises and falls.

Concept of America by Udiah
People united
To secure their liberty
Out of many, one

By Oshima Ryota
from the long hallways
rows of people rise
in the morning haze

Sunflowers by Helina Basic
Sunflower grow tall
Lift your head to bright sunshine
Mother Nature's child

Butterflies by Helina Basic
Flutter in the sky
On wings of many colors
Land upon flowers


Jennifer Lamont Leo said...

Thanks, Jennifer! That's the clearest explanation of haiku that I've seen so far. I love haiku because, for a newbie poet, it's an unintimidating way to test the waters of poetry, while at the same time providing an intriguing challenge to more seasoned poets.

Jennifer Rova said...

Unfortunately, haiku is still Japanese to me but I keep trying to learn. I agree that it seems a bit easier than other types of poetry.