Haiku Exercise 1 notes on writing a brief 3-line nature poem with two juxtaposed images

Haiku exercises

Your first three haiku:


Exercise 1: notes

Attribute of the classical haiku:

  1. The first attribute of the classical haiku:

    This is the Japanese for 'Season Word'.
    Many words are accepted traditionally by the Japanese as denoting the seasons
    and are recorded in almanacs.
    An example for English speakers is the word 'Snow'
    and how it indicates the season of Winter.

    Consider how the Kigo brings resonance with it of nature and the time of year.

    Note that a Japanese noun can represent the plural as well as the singular. Therefore Kigo also means: 'Season Words'.

  2. The second attribute of the classical haiku:

    Juxtaposition of images.
    In one line you have your 'Season Word(s)'.
    Put your second image in the other two lines.

    Consider the energy between your two images. Try to make them different enough to have some energy between them, a gap that electricity can jump across.

    Traditionally Japanese has no punctuation. Often a Japanese haiku connects its images by a kireji (cutting word). That's similar to the way in English we say, "dot dot dot" or "quote".

    A haiku in Japanese is written in a single vertical line of three phrases, with a standard rhythm that provides pauses after the first and second phrase. In English, translators have inserted line breaks to signify this pause.

    The line break can be enough; or use an em-dash or ellipsis.

Basic bibliography on writing haiku:

Writing and Enjoying Haiku: A Hands-On Guide (2003)
by Jane Reichhold, whose many skills include a keen sense for the writing and appreciation of haiku.
This book includes useful guidelines on writing haiku and related forms
In the Palm of Your Hand, Steve Kowit.
Highly recommended. Brimming with clear and practical exercises,
Kowit's book is the best 'How to' book to help you start writing poetry.
Buy Strand The Making of a Poem: A Norton Anthology of Poetic Forms,
Edited by Mark Strand and Eavan Boland.

Site Meter [Thanks for visiting.]