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Create a haiku in seconds.
A Haiku is a short Japanese poem used to evoke images. Our Haiku generator lets you choose a few words then it automatically counts the syllables and brings in synonyms where necessary, to help fit the 5-7-5 poetic style.
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Why Use Our Haiku Generator
We found lots of brilliant haiku tools online but not many worked well with user input. The brief and rigid Haiku structure makes it difficult to work with the infinite possibilities people might input. However, our Haiku writer is designed with your input in mind. When our robot can't fit words to the required structure, it uses the dictionary to search for synonyms that do fit. Admittedly, there are limitations, for example if uncommon words or words with atypical pronunciations are used, but we find that our automatic generator works well for most needs.
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Learn how to write a haiku. This tool can help you create your own haiku poems. It's your own haiku generator.
Remember the rules:
- 5 syllables for the first line,
- 7 for the second, and
- 5 for the third.
How to Write a Haiku, With Examples
Haiku are not long.
But they can be tough to write.
With practice, it’s fun!
A haiku is a short, unrhymed poem that adheres to a specific three-line, seventeen-syllable format. The form originated in Japan, but today people across the globe read and write haiku in many different languages. Because of different languages’ unique syllabic and grammatical structures, haiku have slightly different formats from language to language. The main format we’re working with in this blog post is the English haiku format. Give your writing extra polish Grammarly helps you communicate confidently Write with Grammarly
What is a haiku?
Think back to your elementary and middle school days. You were probably assigned to write a haiku or two somewhere along the way. If you don’t remember the format, it’s simple: three lines total, five syllables in the first and third lines, and seven syllables in the second line.
We’ll go into more detail about how haiku are structured later in this post. For now, we’re going to focus on defining haiku and explaining where they came from and how the form evolved.
Haiku (pronounced high-koo ) is a type of short-form poetry that originated in Japan. Although the name haiku dates only to the nineteenth century, the form has existed for hundreds of years. Originally, haiku were known as hokku and were a component of a larger poetic form known as renga. Renga are lengthy, linked collaborative poems that typically have multiple authors. By the seventeenth century, poets had begun writing hokku as standalone pieces, and by the end of the nineteenth century, poet Masaoka Shiki was reforming the genre while working within it. One of his reforms was coining the term haiku .
How are haiku different from other poems?
Traditionally, haiku are about nature. One common theme explored by historical and modern haiku poets is seasonal changes. Often, a haiku focuses on a single moment in time and, in many cases, juxtaposes two images.
Take a look at this example of a haiku by Matsuo Bashō, whose work played a significant role in haiku becoming recognized as a serious poetic form:
An old silent pond . . .
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
As with other poetic and literary forms, haiku has evolved over the centuries. While traditional haiku adhered to a specific structure and content requirements—more on that in the section below—modern haiku often deviate from these rules to experiment with new formats and explore new subject matter. Take a look at this twentieth-century haiku from American poet Alexis Rotella:
he watches my gauze dress
blowing on the line.
See how this poem still sounds and feels like a haiku despite not adhering to the traditional format? Poetic forms are often descriptive , not prescriptive. That means that when a poem fits a specific form’s rhythm and other general requirements, it’s often considered to be in that form. By contrast, “prescriptive” means that only poems that fit precisely into a specific form are considered to be in that form.
You see this with other poetic forms as well, like sonnets and villanelles. Within certain forms, such as sonnets, distinct subtypes emerged as poets carved out their own takes on the form. Haiku are unique because, although poets have played (and still play) with the format, distinct subtypes have not emerged—at least not yet. But as poets continue to innovate haiku, it’s possible that we’ll see new types develop in the future. Poets are often innovative and insightful, as you’ll see in our collection of poetry quotes .
How is a haiku structured?
One of haiku’s defining characteristics is its concise structure. In English, the structure is:
Line 1: Five syllables
Line 2: Seven syllables
Line 3: Five syllables
If a poem doesn’t follow this structure, it’s not a haiku—at least in the traditional sense.
Beyond this structure, there are a few more rules to writing a traditional haiku. One is that the lines cannot rhyme. Another is that in Japanese a haiku is written as one line. In English (and some other languages), it’s written in the three-line format seen above.
But wait—we said a haiku follows the structure above in English . What about in Japanese?
In Japanese, a haiku consists of seventeen on (phonetic units in Japanese poetry similar to syllables) arranged in the familiar five-seven-five pattern. In many cases—but not all cases—a Japanese word has the same number of on as it has syllables in English.
Another defining characteristic of haiku in Japanese is the inclusion of at least one kireji . A kireji, translated as “cutting word,” is a grammatical category of words that create a pause or sense of closure. There is no direct equivalent to kireji in English, and in many translated haiku (and other traditional Japanese poems), the kireji is represented with a punctuation mark like an ellipsis or a dash.
As an English-language haiku writer, you can choose to include punctuation or onomatopoeia to fill the kireji role, but it’s not a requirement. Many poets simply leave out the kireji if it doesn’t work with their chosen theme.
A haiku also needs to contain a seasonal reference, known as a kigo in Japanese. Just like with a kireji, English-language haiku don’t always include this component.
4 steps to writing a haiku
Writing a haiku is similar to writing just about any other kind of poem or other piece of text: it follows the writing process.
The first step is to brainstorm to generate ideas. What do you want to write about? Do you want your haiku to explore traditional topics, like changing seasons and other parts of nature? Or do you want to explore something more modern, like your relationship with a sibling, a trending story, or one of your hobbies?
Jot down all your ideas . This part of the process is known as prewriting, and it involves building on your brainstorming and outlining. With a haiku, you probably aren’t going to write a full-fledged outline, but you might note how you want to arrange your haiku or play with different word combinations to fit the syllabic structure. Also, think about the general rules of writing poetry , like avoiding clichés and writing from a place of honesty. These aren’t requirements for your haiku, but they can be helpful guidelines.
During the prewriting stage, decide whether you’ll adhere to the established haiku structure or write a more free-form haiku. You can always change your mind later if the lines you write don’t exactly fit the five-seven-five format, but it can be helpful to have an idea of your format from the outset.
3 Time to write
Whether you’re following the five-seven-five format or not, give yourself room to play with words. Group words according to their syllable counts and say them out loud to hear how they sound together. Do this whether you plan on performing your haiku aloud or not—a key part of any poem is its rhythm and flow, so make sure you’ve got a beat that complements your words and subject matter.
Once you’ve written a draft, give it some time to cool off. You’re a better editor when you revisit your work with fresh eyes, so with your first draft finished, take some time to do something else.
About twenty-four hours or so later, come back to your haiku. Read it aloud again and listen to how it sounds. You might catch an awkward string of syllables or a spot where you can substitute a stronger word that you didn’t notice just after finishing the draft. Make these changes to shape your haiku into a stronger second draft.
At this stage, you could be finished. If your hope was simply to write a haiku, you achieved your goal by finishing up that revised second draft. But if your goal is to publish your work, that’s the last step. You can publish your haiku yourself on a blog or by sharing it with your network, or you can submit it to a magazine or chapbook for publication.
Examples of haiku
Take a look at these examples of haiku, traditional and modern, by poets from around the world:
too dark to read the page,
a spider, how lonely I feel
in the cold of night!
hearing the cuckoo,
I long for Kyoto.
out of the water . . .
out of itself.
A haiku is a short, unrhymed poem that adheres to a specific three-line, seventeen-syllable format. Traditionally, a haiku depicts a tiny moment in time and includes a kireji (a “cutting word”) that creates a pause or sense of closure.
What are common haiku themes?
Traditionally, haiku were often about nature and seasonal changes. Over time, poets began exploring other themes in haiku. In both traditional and modern haiku, it’s common for the poem to focus on a small moment and juxtapose distinct images for dramatic effect.
What are the rules for structuring a haiku?
Traditionally, a haiku meets the following requirements:
- It has three lines.
- It has five syllables in the first and third lines.
- It has seven syllables in the second line.
- Its lines don’t rhyme.
- It includes a kireji, or cutting word.
- It includes a kigo, a seasonal reference.
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How to Write a Haiku Poem, with Haiku Examples
What is haiku, haiku examples, characteristics of haiku.
- A focus on nature.
- A "season word" such as "snow" which tells the reader what time of year it is.
- A division somewhere in the poem, which focuses first on one thing, than on another. The relationship between these two parts is sometimes surprising.
- Instead of saying how a scene makes him or her feel, the poet shows the details that caused that emotion. If the sight of an empty winter sky made the poet feel lonely, describing that sky can give the same feeling to the reader.
How to write a haiku - try it!
- 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.
- Write a third line that is a complete surprise, that is about something completely different from the first two lines.
- 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?
- 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 examples by our visitors
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How to Write a Haiku: 6 Key Steps to Follow
If you stumbled upon haiku poetry, chances are you appreciated its minimalist nature. However, the simplicity of haiku can be deceiving: the art of encapsulating a feeling into a few words is hard to master, but ultimately a fascinating and rewarding pursuit.
If you’re wondering how to write a haiku, here are 6 steps you can follow:
1. Read classic haiku for inspiration
2. learn the rules of the form, 3. focus your senses and remain present, 4. capture your haiku moment and key images , 5. create context and connect your images , 6. edit your poem.
To begin with, get familiar with haiku poetry by reading some of the classics. This will help you to get a feeling for what a haiku sounds and feels like. You will find that some poems speak to you more clearly, while the meanings of others may seem more obscure.
Whether your end goal is to publish a poetry book or simply express your creativity, your process will begin in the same way — getting acquainted with the form. Head to a library or a bookstore, or browse on Amazon to get your hands on a few haiku anthology books featuring the work of different authors.
Ideally, you’ll want to read works from both the Japanese tradition and the modern era. You can start with the four classical haiku masters:
- Matsuo Bashō ;
- Yosa Buson ;
- Kobayashi Issa ; and
- Masaoka Shiki
Then, you might continue with modern haiku poems from writers like:
- Nick Virgilio;
- Richard Wright;
- Sonia Sanchez; and
- Jack Kerouac.
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You can find plenty of haiku examples online, but seek out trustworthy websites (i.e. The Haiku Foundation ) to ensure they’re correctly translated and attributed.
Once you’ve got the gist of it, decide if you want to play by the traditional or modern rules.
For being such a simple and minimal poetry form, the haiku format has a long history of traditions and rules. As with all artforms, its rules are made to be broken — but in order to do that, you need to know them in the first place.
Japanese poets used to write haiku as one-liners containing 17 on (a term that roughly translates to ‘syllables’). In the English-speaking world, they are usually written in three lines, with a short-long-short structure of 5-7-5 syllables per line.
In modern haiku, however, syllable count isn’t strictly adhered to. As Mildred Rose smartly put it:
while she counts
syllables, the haiku
一 Mildred Rose
Some contemporary poets write haiku in one, two, and even four lines 一 so feel free to experiment and find your own layout, as long as it resembles the original concept.
Here are a few examples of haiku with varied structures:
a spider, how lonely I feel
in the cold of night!
一 Masaoka Shiki
— John S. O’Connor
smoke from a neighbor's chimney loneliness — Marlene Mountain
Haiku has very few grammatical rules, so don’t worry about breaking any. The most commonly used punctuation device, in the modern format, is the em dash (—) as a way to break the poem in two different parts, putting them in contrast with one another.
Here is an example:
I didn't know the names
of the flowers一now
my garden is gone.
— Allen Ginsberg
As you can see, Ginsberg uses the em dash to create a “before and after” effect, and to express a feeling of regret about not paying more attention to the flowers — whether in a literal or figurative sense.
Traditional haiku is commonly inspired by nature and contains seasonal references. However, feel free to write about any theme that captures your interest, such as love, friendship, or other aspects of daily life. Whether you want to write a poem about your cat, your travel adventures, or the stranger next door is totally up to you.
To sum it up, you have complete freedom to follow the rules or experiment with the form. It might be easier to start with a looser structure to get more familiar with the craft, and then consider if you want to adhere to more rigorous standards.
The next step to actually writing a haiku is getting in the right mindset for it.
The art of writing a haiku requires a sensitivity to the external world and our emotional reactions to it; to be able to look at the ordinary world in front of us and see it with new eyes. As author Edward Levinson points out, at the heart of a haiku poem there is an “ aha moment ” 一 a newfound clarity about the nature of things, as if some greater truth has become apparent. The moment could lead to an insight or simply a distinct feeling.
Take these three examples:
First autumn morning:
the mirror I stare into
shows my father's face.
一 Murakami Kijo
painting the fence
the same green
一 Carol Montgomery
a sparrow settles deeper
into its feathers
一 Frank K. Robinson
In the first poem, the writer expresses a sudden awareness about aging after closely looking at his face in the mirror, on an Autumn morning. In the second poem, watching her husband paint a fence leads the author to reflect on her second marriage, which probably resembles the first one too closely. In the third one, Robinson 一 observing a sparrow 一 resonates with the longing for a cozy and warm shelter as winter approaches.
To notice these types of subtleties, a calm, observing mind is the most important tool at your disposal. Being surrounded by nature might do the trick, just as it did for Matsuo Bashō in the countryside of Japan, and many other poets after him. Depending on where you live, you may find the right peace of mind nearby lakes, rivers, mountains, forests, oceans, beaches, or other natural habitats.
If you’re a city dweller, you may find the same focus while taking a walk in the park or sitting on a bench. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter where you are physically, as long as you are receptive.
Once you feel present and observant enough, start to write down what captures your attention.
Haiku are built upon images, painted with language, that allow the reader to have a similar sensory and emotional experience to the one the poet lived. In other words, a good haiku lets the audience see, hear, smell, touch, and taste “with” the author 一 as well as feel what they feel.
Here is a great example:
in the steaming cocoa
一 Joyce Austin Gilbert
The image of the marshmallow melting into the steaming chocolate is striking: a warm feeling that is juxtaposed with the rainy (and likely cold) evening. In an instant, we can “be there” with the author.
So, how do you go about finding your key images? When you observe life happening around you, simply write down what catches your attention.
If you’re in nature, you may notice the shapes created by a flock of birds, or the fading color of leaves in Autumn. In the city, it may be the sound of shoes squeaking on a basketball court, or the look in the eyes of an old man passing by on the sidewalk.
Whatever catches your attention, write it down. At this stage of the process, don’t stress too much about syllables or structure 一 you will edit your poem later.
This process might take a while, as you’re unlikely to find deep wells of meaning in every image you encounter. But when you do spot something that could potentially spark an “aha moment”, ask yourself these questions:
- What is it about this image that got my attention?
- Did it make me see things in a new light?
- What emotion did it evoke?
- Does it contrast with another image or with the context?
- What mood does the contrast establish?
This exercise will help you to pin down the exact feeling you want to express. Now that you’ve gathered your main images, it’s time to frame them together.
To frame your haiku on paper, you can tinker with two elements: the relationship between the images and the context in which they happen.
As Jim Kacian suggests in his book How to Haiku , to provide the context you can either make a seasonal reference or use other keywords. For the former, you could mention the frost on the leaves to describe winter or a warm evening breeze for summer. For non-seasonal haiku, you could start with keywords like “ funeral: ” or “ Easter evening一 ” to contextualize the setting.
Think back at your haiku moment: where did it take place? At what time of the day? Of what season? What was the event?
Select the detail that better helps the reader to relive the scene with you.
The next step is to create a relationship between your key images. Think of them as a matchstick and a striking surface that, when rubbed together, create a spark 一 fueling the entire poem. The more vivid the images and the more striking their connection, the stronger the impact on the reader.
Let’s see a couple of examples:
sinking into the rocks
a cicada’s voice
一 Matsuo Bashō
The opening word, stillness , sets the tone of the scene. This is reinforced by an image of rocks in which a cicada's voice suddenly appears and disappears. In just a few words the poet depicts the tension between silence and noise, tranquility and chaos 一 perhaps suggesting that life emerges from nothing and quickly returns to it.
Among leafless trees
too many thoughts
一 David Elliott
The first line both establishes the context of the poem — suggesting that the author may be walking in a forest or a park — and provides the first image: the bare and leafless trees, which are juxtaposed to the poet’s mind, crowded with thoughts. The contrast makes him aware of his excessive mental activity and, perhaps, his inability to stop it 一 a feeling other people can relate to.
Tinker with your images for a while, playing with context and contrast, and figure out how to best link them together. Once you have found a good framework, you can polish up the poem.
First off, refine your haiku’s layout; revisit your research from earlier, and decide what syllable structure you want to follow, if any. Then decide if and when you want to use punctuation marks, like em dashes or semicolons, to enhance the reading experience and the association between images. (Try re-reading Bashō’s poem about stillness without the colon to appreciate how critical it is!)
It’s a good practice to read your poem aloud, trying to get a sense of its rhythm and making sure it sounds natural. If there is a word that doesn't “feel right”, browse through the thesaurus for another one. With such an economy of words, it’s important to find the right vocabulary. With time and practice, it will come to you more easily.
Finally, just like with any other piece of writing, go for a (haiku-less) walk. Getting some distance from the poem will help to “let it rest” in your mind and return to it with fresh eyes. You can also ask for a second opinion from a friend, or if you're thinking of publishing a collection of haiku, consider hiring a poetry copy editor to refine them to perfection.
Despite its simplicity, it takes time and practice to write great haiku. With the help of these tips and ideas, you’re ready to look at the world more closely, capture those ordinary yet meaningful moments of life, and share them with the world. So go out there, and find your haiku moments!
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Rules for Writing Haiku
- DESCRIPTION old pond in autumn
- SOURCE travelif / E+ / Getty Images
- PERMISSION Used under license
While some forms of poetry have free rein with regard to their subject or number of lines and syllables, the haiku was established in Japan as far back as the 9th century with a specific structure, style, and philosophy. Many poets still write in the original 5-7-5 syllable pattern and follow the traditional rules for writing haiku.
Style of Haiku Poetry
What is a haiku? It is a three-line, beautifully descriptive, form of poetry, intended to be read in one breath. If read in Japanese, most traditional haiku would have five syllables, or sounds, in the first line, seven in the second, and five in the last. The Academy of American Poets asserts, "As the form evolved, many of these rules - including the 5-7-5 practice - have routinely been broken. However, the philosophy of haiku has been preserved: the focus on a brief moment in time; a use of provocative, colorful images; an ability to be read in one breath; and a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination."
Michael Dylan Welch , Adjunct Poetry Professor for the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts shares this sentiment, stating, "Most Western literary haiku poets have rejected the 5-7-5- syllable pattern. ...The poem gains its energy by the intuitive or emotional leap that occurs in the space between the poem's two parts, in the gap of what's deliberately left out. ...The art of haiku lies in creating exactly that gap, in leaving something out, and in dwelling in the cut that divides the haiku into its two energizing parts."
Haiku poetry traditionally discusses abstract subjects or those from the natural world, including seasons, months, animals, and even the smallest elements of nature, down to a blade of grass or a drop of dew.
While a haiku does not have to cover natural subjects anymore, it is most often used as a celebration of nature. And although modern haiku still focus on simple yet sensory language that creates a brief moment in time and a sense of illumination, the structure can be looser and traditional rules ignored.
So whether you choose to play by the traditional rules for writing haiku or go freeform is entirely up to you.
Traditional Haiku Structure
The structure of a traditional haiku is always the same, including the following features:
- There are only three lines, totaling 17 syllables.
- The first line is 5 syllables.
- The second line is 7 syllables.
- The third line is 5 syllables like the first.
- Punctuation and capitalization are up to the poet, and need not follow the rigid rules used in structuring sentences.
- A haiku does not have to rhyme, in fact usually it does not rhyme at all.
- It can include the repetition of words or sounds
Steps for Writing a Haiku
Even though there are specific rules for writing a traditional haiku, the process can still be fun and rewarding. And remember that a modern haiku can be more freeform.
If you are wondering how to write a haiku for the first time, consider the following steps:
- Begin by reading examples of haiku - there are some below - to help you get inspired about the subjects and construction of haiku. A haiku is a beautiful form of poetry, so take time to appreciate it before you begin writing it. You can find more examples of haiku poems on YourDictionary or in your local library.
- Create a list of possible subjects that you might write about, considering various aspects of nature that inspire you. Consider traditional subjects like animals, nature, and seasons, or something completely different. Even the smallest details can make for great haiku.
- After you choose a subject, you may want to look at a few pictures of it, or go outside and admire it. Like all of the great poets before you, some of the greatest inspiration comes from simply admiring nature and the world around them.
- Make a list of words that relate to the subject you have chosen. Be as descriptive as possible. Think about feelings and emotions too.
- The last line is usually used to make an observation about your subject. It can be fun to add a surprise here. Looking through the list you wrote, can you create an unexpected relationship between the first two lines and the third?
- Decide if you want to write using the 5-7-5 rule or branch outside the limits of this pattern. (If you have trouble determining the syllables in a word because you are not sure how to pronounce it, you can look up the word here on YourDictionary for a count of the syllables.)
Examples of Traditional Haiku
The most famed traditional Japanese poets include Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, and Masoaka Shiki. They are known as "the Great Four" and their work is still the model for traditional haiku writing today.
Let's take a look at two of Matsuo Basho's most famous poems. (Note: The 5-7-5 rhythm has been lost in translation, as not every Japanese word has the same number of syllables, or sounds, as its English version. For example, haiku has two syllables in English. In Japanese, the word has three sounds.)
An old silent pond, A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again.
On a withered branch A crow has alighted: Nightfall in autumn.
The traditional form of haiku has also been embraced by English-speaking poets. Here are two examples by Kelly Roper from our sister site LoveToKnow.com, both with a focus on nature.
The season gives way. Winter lays down her mantle, As spring bursts to life
Waiting in the marsh, The heron stands silently, Fish sense death is near.
Examples of Modern Haiku
Now, let's take a look at modern Western haiku. Here are two examples, also by LoveToKnow's Kelly Roper. Notice the difference in style compared to the traditional haiku examples above.
Foul ball Flys up through the air... Fan catches it with his face.
Giant, foul-smelling shadow Smashing through the forest. Sasquatch is on the move.
Although many modern poets don't follow the 5-7-5 pattern, you will still come across a few who remain true to the original form.
Process of Writing a Beautiful Haiku
Reading through examples of haiku can help you understand and appreciate haiku before you write one yourself. Reading haiku to children can also help them develop a sense of how to interpret poetry, and begin the process of writing their own simple poems.
Remember to be creative, not only with your use of words but also with your punctuation and word order. A haiku is not designed to read like a sentence, so do not feel bound by normal capitalization and structure rules.
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- The essence of haiku is the juxtaposition of two images or ideas and a "cutting word" between them (a word that signals the seperation and relation between the two images or ideas.
- Traditional haiku consists of 17 "on" or "morae", in 3 phrases of 5, 7, and 5.
- Haiku are often erronously stated to have 17 syllables, but this is inaccurate as syllables and "on" are not the same.
- Modern Japanese haiku are increasingly unlikely to follow the 17 "on" tradition.
- (paraphrased from Wikipedia )
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- Poetry Guide: Senryu
How to Write a Haiku Poem (with 15 Examples)
When first adding write a haiku to my bucket list, I thought checking it off would be no problem at all. These super short Japanese poems take on a format of only seventeen syllables long, three lines and about a dozen measly words. How hard could it be? Well, even though it’s a fairly simple bucket list idea (and a fun thing to do without leaving the house ), it’s not so easy peasy that you’ll be whipping out tons of them in one day! Sometimes writing a long story can be simpler than writing something short and meaningful.
How to write a haiku? These tips and examples will help…
How to Write a Japanese Haiku Poem: Format with 15 Examples (including my own!)
What is a haiku.
Haiku is a short versed Japanese poem that has just seventeen syllables, traditionally written in three lines:
- Line One has 5 syllables
- Line Two has 7 syllables
- Line Three has 5 syllables
It’s been a while since school…what is a syllable? A syllable is a single sound or beat in a word. For example, ad·ven·ture has three syllables and the word ex·pe·ri·ence has four.
Haiku originated as the opening part of a Japanese collaborative poem, called renga . After the first verse was written, it was passed to the next poet who added more lines to it. But over time the first verse, haiku, became a separate genre that spread throughout the world. Now you can find haiku poems in many different languages.
Traditionally, haiku poems are simplistic and describe images of the nature or seasons. But, nowadays they can be about anything you like. What’s even better is that you don’t have to worry about finding words that rhyme because the lines of a haiku rarely ever do!
Traditional Haiku Elements If you’d like to write a more traditional Japanese haiku then here are some structure elements to be aware of: Kireji (“cutting word”): Cutting words technically have no meaning or definition, they act more like punctuation, except they are spoken words instead of symbols. You can think of a cutting word as comma, an indication to pause. Kigo: Kigo is a word (or phrase) that symbolizes one of the four seasons. Sensory Images: traditional haiku are about sensory images and not ideas. They use the five senses—sound, sight, taste, touch and smell. You can read a lot more about traditional haiku disciplines here or here .
Tips on How to Write a Haiku
Now that you know the definition of a haiku, how do you write one and check this off your bucket list ? Here’s some tips:
1. Observe nature silently. To get inspired go out, sit silently, and simply observe. Nature is full of life, action, and harmony. Soon your mind will calm and you will feel this harmony within yourself.
2. Embrace the moment—concentrate on here and now. The Japanese are experts on enjoying the moment. In fact, many of the haiku poets were Zen teachers, so they knew a thing or two about meditation and catching the beauty of the moment.
3. Remember the structure. Five-seven-five syllables. Line one should talk about one thing, line two about another, line three provides a connection between the two.
4. Don’t bother too much with grammar and punctuation. The punctuation and grammar are up to the author (lovely, right?) No rhyme needed either!
5. Use simple words. You don’t have to show off with elaborate and flowery language. Haiku captures the beauty of nature in simple yet strong words.
6. Picture the essence. Try describing what you see on the sheet of paper and then cross out all the words that do not picture the essence. What makes the picture you are observing now unique? What creates the strongest feeling? Subtract ruthlessly. Everything that isn’t “Hell, yes!” is a “No” It may be difficult at first, but with practice, you’ll hone your focus and intuition. By the way, a famous Russian writer, Anton Chekhov used to edit his drafts up to 40 times, to make them as general as possible, and to capture the essence of human interaction. Remember him, while working on you haiku.
7. Learn from the best. Read as many haiku as you can. Analyze the ones you really like, find the connections, and add them to your file. The more you read, the better your brain will recognize the patterns and connections, and the richer your images will become.
15 Haiku Examples
These are examples of some traditional and some modern haikus. With the former of the two the 5-7-5 rhythm can get lost in translation, but you are still able to get inspired by their beauty.
An old silent pond… A frog jumps into the pond, splash! Silence again. —Matsuo Basho
the disk moon the disk frozen lake reflecting each other —HASHIMOTO Takako
A fallen blossom returning to the bough, I thought — But no, a butterfly. —Arakida Moritake, translation by Steven D. Carter
Now it reveals its hidden side and now the other—thus it falls, an autumn leaf. —Ryōkan Taigu
in the autumn wind standing alone a shadow —Ryōkan Taigu
People step in the air. The water wheel At the green paddy fields. —Masaoka Shiki
the sky I see seems full of magnolia blossoms —Natsume Soseki
The lamp once out Cool stars enter The window frame. —Natsume Soseki
In nooks and corners Cold remains: Flowers of the plum —Yosa Buson, translated by RH Blyth
bitter winter wind ends there — sound of the sea —IKENISHI Gonsui
to tangle or untangle the willow— it’s up to the wind —Fukuda Chiyo-ni
Picking up pebbles Or seashells strewn on soft sand Pure relaxation. —Paul Holmes
Full strawberry moon, ushers in hot days of June, high tides fill the dune —Patricia L Cisco
Glorious sunset Decorating the night sky… Awaiting the moon —David Fox
And last, but not least. This is the haiku I wrote on my birthday: A plane flies over, you dream of being on it. Ideas flourish.
Want be inspired by more haikus? These 108 poems will cultivate awareness and open your h eart.
Why should I write a haiku? You may ask. Haiku teaches us to notice the elegant beauty of each moment of life. If you make writing haiku a daily exercise, not only will the format come easy, but you will also be trained to see amazing things around you that usually go unnoticed. In the hassle of modern life, stop sometimes, observe the beauty that’s around you…
People rushing round, Collected and observing Writing a haiku.
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2 thoughts on “How to Write a Haiku Poem (with 15 Examples)”
I am going to try this and add it to my post about forest bathing in Kyoto
the gentle sound of a deer quiet as they are it is just like me
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Hey Bucket Listers! I'm Annette .
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5 Tips for Writing a Haiku
A haiku is a type of poem which will allow you to practice focusing on specific numbers of lines and syllables in your poetry writing. Haiku poetry can be a fun challenge. Writing a haiku poem will also help you to discover new ways to write about nature and your surroundings in a very meditative way.
- Background . The haiku poem began to emerge in Japan as far back as the 7 th century, and the most common themes for these poems were prayers, celebration, and harvesting. In the 1950s, haiku poetry writing became popular in the West thanks to poets such as Gary Snyder and Jack Kerouac.
- Lines . Three lines altogether is the maximum number for a haiku because this type of poem is based in simplicity and meditation, which means that it is usually reflective of something that you have become aware of in your natural surroundings. Try not to over-think while writing your haiku, because for this type of poem, simple words are the key to expressing complex ideas.
- Syllables . It is traditional for each haiku have exactly seventeen syllables in all. More specifically, the first and third lines of the poem are required to have five syllables each, while the second line must have seven syllables, creating a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. This Japanese form of poetry pays close attention to the musicality that words make, and having this intricate pattern of syllables contributes to the rhythmic tone of the poem.
- Nature . It is customary for haikus to include either a reference to nature, or to make the poem’s subject about your surroundings. This makes it easy to find the theme you will use for your poem, because all you have to do is look around you and find something inspiring. You can also think about your favorite season or holiday and base your poem around the images you get in your mind when you think about them.
- Power Poetry . Head on over to Power Poetry.org and post your new poem, and if you enjoyed writing this type of poem, maybe you can start writing a whole collection of haikus.
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Quickly write a Japanese haiku poem. haiku creator / Japanese poem writer / haiku generator / short poem.
Learn how to write a haiku. This tool can help you create your own haiku poems. It's your own haiku generator. Remember the rules:.
What are the rules for structuring a haiku? · It has three lines. · It has five syllables in the first and third lines. · It has seven syllables in
A haiku uses just a few words to capture a moment and create a picture in the reader's mind. It is like a tiny window into a scene much larger than itself.
Japanese poets used to write haiku as one-liners containing 17 on (a term that roughly translates to 'syllables'). In the English-speaking world
Traditional Haiku Structure · There are only three lines, totaling 17 syllables. · The first line is 5 syllables. · The second line is 7 syllables. · The third line
Japanese Poetry · Poetry Guide: Renga · Poetry Guide: Senryu. Creative Writing Games.
Writing haiku might seem simple, but it's more than just hitting a specific syllable count. To gain a richer understanding of this
The Japanese haiku poem is simple by definition, but learning how to write one may be tricky. What will help is these best tips and
Writing a haiku poem will also help you to discover new ways to write about nature and your surroundings in a very meditative way. Background. The haiku poem