How to Write a Haiku Poem

Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life.
– Santoka Taneda

There is magic in nature. Birds singing, trees that are hundreds of years old, are among the beauties and magic of nature. Whether you are looking at a mountain or a tiny insect you can find the marvels of nature. The Japanese knew this and they came up with a form of poetry uniquely formed to show one moment nature in words, the haiku. Today people still enjoy writing haikus to show moments that are special to them. Here I am going to take you through the steps of writing a haiku. 

A haiku is a poem of three lines, that do not rhyme, with the first line having five syllables, the second line having seven syllables, and the last line having five syllables resulting in a total of seventeen syllables. Traditionally a haiku is written on a part of nature with the end coming as a surprise, but people write haikus on all sorts of things.  To write a haiku you are going to need what you are going to write about, and whatever it is you are going to write on.

Here I would like to share to ways that I use to write a haiku.

One way to start writing a haiku is to describe what you are writing about using as much detail as possible, then highlighting the most vivid parts of that, and turning that in the actual haiku. Here is that way for a description for a haiku that I am writing: The sun is warm today. The sun dapples the oak trees in light. The trees seem to bask in its light. There are birds singing and dogs are barking in the distance. There seems to be music in the air.

I cannot use all of that, so I have to cut out all but the words that really seem to capture the moment, and fit it into the five syllable, seven syllable, five syllable formula that makes the haiku so unique. The sun is warm today. The sun dapples the oak trees in light. The trees seem to bask in its light. There are birds singing and dogs are barking in the distance. There seems to be music in the air.  After I highlight what seems most important, I make it fit into the form that it is supposed to be.

Which leaves me with: Trees dappled in sun/ bask in its warm midday light./ Music in the air. Now you figure out how to do the same with yours. It may take a few tries. I know that I made it look easy here, but you cannot see the paper on which I was writing my haiku on.

If the way I just showed does not seem right for you here is another way that you can use to reach the exact same result, a completed haiku. In this way of reaching the exact same result it may also help if you start by writing a description with all the details, but it is not necessary. Instead you are going to look at what you are writing your haiku on, and then write two sentences that really seem to describe it. This is what I have: The sun dapples the oak trees in light. The trees seem to bask in the warmth.

Now you are going to ignore what you are suppose to be writing about and write another sentence. Mine is: Music quivers in the air. After you have done that read those three sentences, and see if the last sentence has a surprising similarity to the first two sentences, if so, change the three sentences into one haiku with five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, and five on the last. Here is mine: Trees dappled in sun/ bask in its warm midday light./ Music in the air. As you can see both variations got me the exact same result. Read through the finished haiku, and make any last minute changes. That is it, you have written a haiku.

There are moments in the world that you do not want to forget, and sometimes a haiku is an easy way to remember it. Sometimes it is the small details that are the hardest to remember, and some of those details are what we never want to forget. Whether you want to remember a smile, or a person you can use a haiku. 

One thought on “How to Write a Haiku Poem

  1. Pingback: How to Write a Gogyohka Poem | A.M. Molvik's Ramblings

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.