Have you ever tried Haiku?

No,no-  it’s not a type of Sushi!

Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese word art originating in Zen philosophy. As I’ve been surfing other poetry blogs, I’ve been inspired to return to this form of word art.

Japanese Haiku poets follow strict rules in constructing their Haiku. In English there is greater flexibility in the approach and the rules alter slightly. I’ve never been one for formula – I usually get mind-numbing flashbacks to high school trigonometry at the mention of the word! But there’s something appealingly challenging about expressing a concept or observation succinctly- in a maximum of 17 syllables…

In Haiku, the idea is to write a poem of 3 lines, with the first, second and third line containing 5, 7 and 5 syllables respectively. The poem is whole, independent and complete in its communication. Another feature is to create a “cut” in the words through punctuation or meaning. Traditionally, Haiku was written about Nature or contained a seasonal concept. The effect is often tranquil but powerful. Even today, the season of the piece is alluded to subtly.

It is simplicity in poetry.

It is minimalist.

It is beautiful.

“cozy winter evening:

fond family feeding

on news, warmth and love”

That’s my Haiku for tonight, with my sister over for supper, and a hearty catching up around our crackling  fire.


6 Responses

  1. These are simply beautiful and I love your images!

    • Thank you. Appreciate the visit. There is just great tranquility in the Zen imagery, I agree. Not my own though. All googled : (
      Must confess, I’m still learning the ropes re downloaded images. So Google with great tags for now! Tips welcome though 🙂

  2. The images are indeed gorgeous and the colors stunning even on a computer monitor. Nice choices. I like the way you wrote a haiku and then the dissertation to round out the use of the words. It’s a fulfilling way to consume 3WW! As for the 5-7-5 “traditionalist” structure… my wife insists up and down that 5-7-5 should not even be considered for English “haiku” (which can really never be considered real haiku after all since the very essence of haiku is inextricably woven with Japanese language), but as for me… my 3WW haiku are more about wordplay than about real poetry. It’s for fun, after all. Nice work; enjoyed it!

    • Thanks, Peter. I have to agree with your wife…the world of Haiku in Japanese is a mastery I can only imagine. And that doesn’t take away from my enjoyment of toying with such a simple basic structure in English. It is fun. I noticed you were rather playful with your Haiku. Clever actually.

  3. My comment and ode to you:

    So clean deep thought

    How talently created

    Inspired beauty

    Lol! The biggest compliment is immitation.

    Luv who you are!

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