What is a Haiku?
The Haiku is a poetic form that originated in Japan as early as the 9th or 13th Century, depending on what you read, but wasn’t known by the term Haiku until the 19th century.
Want to know more about Haiku history? Click here.
Traditionally, they focussed on nature and emphasised simplicity.
Each line of the poem has specific syllabic criteria:
1st Line: 5 syllables
2nd Line: 7 syllables
3rd Line: 5 syllables
Want to know how to count syllables? Click here.
Examples of Japanese Haiku
April’s air stirs in
Floats and balances
― Bashō, Japanese Haiku
Dead my old fine hopes
And dry my dreaming but still…
Iris, blue each spring
― Shushiki, Japanese Haiku
Modern Haiku can vary dramatically from the original intent in terms of subject matter. Some even depart from the syllabic criteria (which calls into question whether they should be considered Haiku).
For some cool, nature-oriented examples, click here.
And here’s a few Haiku I wrote about writing Haiku:
Writing Haiku. A Haiku trilogy.
In every dew drop,
I see the acorn of thought
that grows into oak.
Language comes alive.
My mind is afire with life,
burned on the white page.
Acorn now grown tall,
the tree outlined in firelight.
Feel these sunset words.
– Stephen Thompson, Modern Haiku
For more of my Haiku, click here.
The All or the Nothing is my first e-book of poetry.
Click here to buy a copy online.