Haikus are rather mysterious as far as poems go. At least, I always thought so and because we spent most of last month counting syllables, I thought we could look at Haikus and keep counting – to 17 as it were. Also, because today is International Haiku Day. Hip-hip-Hooray.
I have always been wary of Haikus and thought them to be very short and odd little things, but after the sonnet I feel like I could attempt one, because I enjoyed the challenge involved with the sonnet.
What do I have to do to write Haiku?
A Haiku typically has three lines and a total of 17 syllables. The syllables are divided as follows:
Line 1: 5 Syllables
Line 2: 7 Syllables
Line 3: 5 Syllables
Much like the couplet of the sonnet there is turning point in the Haiku.
Haikus originated in Japan and it is interesting to note that syllables are counted slightly differently in Japanese so they don’t always translate perfectly.
And as with all creative writing there are many interpretations of the form and the art form has evolved other the years. The goal of the Haiku would be to convey a specific emotion or image and the poems often relate to scenes in nature.
This Haiku by Yosa Buson was translated from Japanese and dates from the 1700s.
Not quite dark yet
and the stars shining
above the withered fields.
And a more recent example by Alisha L Mead, which I think is lovely:
I am over you
Then my eyes meet yours once more
And I fall in love
We’ll be writing a haiku a little later this year. I hope this will help when the time comes.
Happy Haiku Day.
by Mia Botha
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- Poetry 101: Kinds Of Poems – The Sonnet
- Poetry 101: What Is A Poem?
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