Business Administration Education Guide

Friday, November 10, 2006


A Haiku is an unrhymed verse form, conveying a complete image or feeling in three lines of syllables, and are usually about nature or natural things. The haiku is a very simple form of writing. So think many poets exposed to this verse for the first time. The more perceptive of them soon realise that it can in reality be rather difficult. Haiku are traditionally written in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables.

For the beginner, it is probably best, at first, to stick to the 17-syllable rule. In general an English syllable is much longer than a Japanese syllable, and so, strictly speaking, 17 English syllables is too long for a Japanese haiku.

Steps to writing Haiku poems

Haiku format. A haiku contains three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second has seven, and the last has five. This is usually extremely strict, especially in the original Japanese.

Topic. Haiku usually focus around imagery, namely nature or that involving nature. If your having trouble with seasons, also try using a holiday as a topic. Haiku does not tell stories or involve people's actions. Haiku conveys an abstract concept which is normally an emotion.

Which Season. Since practically all haiku focus is on nature, consider which season you will use as imagery. With only so many words, choose simple phrases like "cherry blossoms" or "falling leaves". They can create vivid scenes, while also reflecting the tone of the verse.



New love, infatuation or beginning

Elements - blossoms, warm rains and pastel colors


Vitality, love, anger, enticement and attraction. General summer phrases include allusions Elements could include blue skies, beaches, heat or romance.


Closing, paranormal or saying good-bye.

Elements could be falling leaves, autumn colors or even pumpkins


Burden, cold, sadness, hunger, tranquility, peace, freezing and wintry.

Consider elements of winter such as snow, ice, dead tree, icicles

Contrast - Several haiku will present one idea for the first two lines and then switch quite abruptly to something else or do the same with the first line and last two. Contrasts can be the hardest part. The haiku needs a ideal channel to spark the right emotional note. It can be anything from one color to another or one season to anther. In the English version, the contrast is often emphasized by punctuation between the two lines, although this is not necessary.


To become motivated, try reading the ancient works of famous haiku poets.

Write what you feel, not what you see.

Don't read haiku as other poems. Haiku are written to capture a feeling and image.

Open your mind and try to feel what the haiku writer was trying to get across.

Haiku is a great way to relieve stress or get inspired about something.

Written Japanese is a visual language; it uses ideograms to represent ideas visually rather than characters to represent ideas audibly. Haiku is really a Japanese specific form of poetry. Simply copying the syllable pattern in a sound-based language like English is an interesting adaptation, but not haiku in the original sense. They’re haiku inspired.

If you enjoy Haiku, you may be interested in learning more about what Museum Publications Editor Writers do as a career.


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