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Haiku poems are a snapshot of reality, shown from your perspective.

Thanks to their simple structure, short form and to them being young, they’re a great fun to write and to read.

In this last step, I underlined the fact that haiku poems are there to enjoy them, to love writing them and reading them and contemplating reality with them in mind.

At the ending, just so stick to the convention, two examples of funny and joyful haiku poems:

Akutagawa, Ryunosuke 

Green frog,
Is your body also
freshly painted?

Anonymous 

Without flowing wine
How to enjoy lovely
Cherry blossoms?

To divide a Haiku poem in two parts, we use a “cutting word”.

This is to separate two sections of the poem in two parts, each of which enriches the other.

Cutting can be done with example a colon, long dash or ellipsis.

Let’s have a look at few examples, I colored the cutting in red:

Basho, Matsuo

In all the rains of May
there is one thing not hidden -
the bridge at Seta Bay.

Hashin

No sky
no earth - but still
snowflakes fall

Once again, remember that not all haiku poems have to contain cutting, few more examples:

Kato, Shuson

I kill an ant
and realize my three children
have been watching.

Natsume, Soseki

On New Year’s Day
I long to meet my parents
as they were before my birth.

Haiku poems should consist of 5 syllabes in first line, 7 in second line and 5 again in last line.

haiku poems themed picture

There’s really not much to write about this one, I just wanted to emphasize the fact that because Haiku Poems originated from Japan, it’s hard to include this rule while writing in English or any other language.

Like every rule, don’t stick to it too much and never, NEVER sacrifice your poem just because it doesn’t have  5 syllabes in first line, 7 in second line and 5 again in last line.

Just to stick to our rule of this blog, I will give two examples of poems that don’t abide by this step.

Thomas Grieg

Pond with ice
tadpoles
summer

Quiet around the point: ducks;
up down birches
helicopter

Welcome to our daily Haiku Poems article!

haikus blooming cherries

Today we will focus on seasonal reference. It is another element of haiku poems that makes them special among other kinds of poetry.

There’s not much to explain really, but there are many different ways of achieving it.

Let’s see what Haiku masters have to say in this topic:

Basho, Matsuo

The years first day
thoughts and loneliness;
the autumn dusk is here.

No one travels
Along this way but I,
This autumn evening.

In those two poems by Basho Matsuo the reference is pretty obvious, season was named in the last line.

Issa

In my old home
which I forsook, the cherries
are in bloom.

In this haiku poem, Issa mentions blooming cherries as a reference to early spring.

There are many ways of hiding the reference, just like in the following haikus poem:

Right at my feet -
and when did you get here,
snail?

Snails usually walk out during rains, mostly in summer> autumn, so the season here isn’t accurately defined, but there is a reference to it.

Enjoy!

Haiku poems for me are something sophisticated and light.

Another thing I love about them is that you can write pretty much about anything you like, in a simple fashion.

Waves

How to describe our boring, simple bits of our lifes in a way that will appeal to a potential reader? Let’s ask Haiku masters once again, gaze upon these few poems while thinking about the simple things from life that you can find in them.

Basho, Matsuo 

No blossoms and no moon,
and he is drinking sake

all alone!

 Temple bells die out.
The fragrant blossoms remain.
A perfect evening!

 Murakami, Kijo

The moment two bubbles
are united, they both vanish.
A lotus blooms.

Something simple becomes something meaningful and timeless, significant, oh the power of Haiku Poems!

japanese art1

It’s very important to remember in this process that if we stick to the rules 100% and only create Haiku according to them, and based on masters instructions and examples, we will never create anything new.

And trust me, even in an art as new as Haiku (a bit over 100 years, which in comparison to lyric poetry, which is over a thousand years old) it is hard to create something original.

Having the opportunity of discussing the originality as an aspect of writing haiku poems, let me quote a haiku by Chris Spruck:

Faceless, just numbered.
Lone pixel in the bitmap-
I, anonymous.

Even though this haiku breaks our fourth rule of how to write haikus, it still is an amazing poem, mainly from my point of view because of its originality.

So remember, rules are there to brake them!

In next few posts I will focus on particular steps and describe them in detail and using examples.

Leaf

To be honest, I find it extremely hard to describe and to interpret a Haiku, that’s what I love in this kind of poetry, how “fly” it is…

   Busho, Matsuo once wrote:

Clouds appear
and bring to men a chance to rest
from looking at the moon.

I think that’s a perfect example of showing a regular event in a new, amusing, refreshing way. Describing the feelings this poem gives me makes no sense, I’m sure you know what I mean by the first step now.

I’ll probably say that many times through next days, but that’s one of most important aspects of Haiku Poems and of writing them, this element of novelty in our daily rutine.

Just to clarify, another example, this time by Yoshi Mikami Issa:

My grumbling wife -
if only she were here!
This moon tonight…

How often do we miss something that used to bother us?

Hi, that’s my first post just to explain how I write haiku and the general rules you should stick to while creating Haiku poems.

Blossom Cherry

It’s just a start up post, I will try to explain every step more thoroughly in latter posts, with examples of famous artists.

So, without further ado:

1. While writing haiku, always try to show a new point of view on a simple experience. Something that you don’t usually think about regarding this particular task/item/feeling.

More About Step 1

2. Don’t worry about any other text you read about writing Haiku, especially if it was referring to traditional Japanese ways, rules on writing Haiku Poems are only a spine of the process, you create the body.

More about step 2


3. Haiku Poems refer to simple elements of life, daily rutine situations, the usual things in life.

More about step 3


4. In Haiku there’s always a reference to a certain season. It may be something on the lines of weather in a particular time of the year or even a kind of animal that you would expect to see.

More about step 4


5. Haiku poems should consist of 5 syllables in first line, 7 in second line and 5 again in last line.

More about step 5

6. Poems should be divided into two parts. Use a dash or colon or ellipsis to achieve it.

More about step 6

7. The last and most important step: Enjoy writing Haiku Poems! Even if you can’t follow all of these steps and your Haiku poems don’t exactly fit in the strict category – the art of Haiku is for everyone to enjoy, not to spend hours polishing a phrase so it’s perfect from every angle!

More about step 7

You might also want to see
A Eulogy to Remember , because not all haiku are cheerful.

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