I should really be doing more writing exercise to practice my skills each day, but life is hectic and disjointed at the moment. So I’ve decided to get into the habit of writing Haiku.
This Haiku was inspired by my last blog post “The Calm after the Storm in Bodrum”
a cold seat of nature’s call
freezes my assets.
When I compared this Haiku to the check-list below it falls short on a couple of requirements.
It really needs to focus on what caused the feeling, not the feeling itself — but I like it as it is, and I’m not a Haiku purist (yet!) …. but tomorrow is another day.
What is a Haiku?
- Although English Haiku is taught at being a three-line poem of 5-7-5 syllables … this is a bit of a misconception. If you write a Haiku in English and then translate it to it’s traditional Japanese, you will end up with more that these 17 syllables, so many purist Haiku poets writing in non-Japanese languages actually write three lines of about 10 to 17 syllables instead of a consistent 17. But in the essence of keeping it simple and consistent, I write my Haiku in the 5-7-5 format.
- Besides format … there are many other things to consider when writing Haiku.
Here is an excerpt from the Haiku Check List from GraceGuts:
For haiku inspiration, look closely at everything around you in nature, at home, at school, and at work. Write your haiku first, letting yourself be free and creative. Then ask the following questions about your haiku to help you improve them.
Does your haiku name or suggest one of the seasons—spring, summer, fall, or winter? In Japanese, a kigo or “season word” tells readers when the poem happens, such as saying “tulips” for spring or “snow” for winter. This is one of the most important things to do in haiku.
Does your poem make a “leap,” by having two parts? In Japanese, a kireji or “cutting word” usually cuts the poem into two parts (never three). Giving your poem two fragmentary parts is also one of the most important things to do in haiku.
Is your haiku about common, everyday events in nature or human life? To help you do this, describe what you experience through your five senses.
Does your poem give readers a feeling? It can do this by presenting what caused your feeling rather than the feeling itself. So others can feel what you felt, don’t explain or judge what you describe.
Is your poem in the present tense? To make your haiku feel like it’s happening right now, use the present tense.
Did you write from your own personal experience? When you write other kinds of poetry, you can make things up, but try not to do that with haiku. Memories are okay, though.
How did you capitalize or punctuate your poem? Haiku are usually not sentences (they’re usually fragments), so they don’t need to start with a capital, or end with a period.
Does your haiku avoid a title and rhyme? Haiku are not like other poems, which may have these things. Haiku don’t have titles and rarely rhyme.
Participate in NaHaiWriMo
NaHaiWriMo is National Haiku Writing Month, which takes place each year in February (because that’s the shortest month of the year). For more information about this event, visit their website and join their Facebook page.