Wednesday, November 9, 2016

WRITING: Start Writing Poems With Short Haiku

When I became interested in writing Haiku, I really thought that I would not be very successful. The intense restrictions in lines and length seemed like a format that would constrain and frustrate me too much.

Instead, I took well to writing in the 5/7/5 format. Here is one of my verses that illustrates the defining feature of this Asian poetic form.

Tissue-Thin Transience

Tissue-thin red leaves.
Shaking and quaking in gust.
Detach, flip, and fall. 

The Japanese poetry format of Haiku is written in a 3-line stanza, where the lines are 5/7/5 syllables. Some misunderstand this to mean 5/7/5 words.

The easiest way to stick with the traditional format is to count out the syllables of your words on your fingers, as you repeat them. Try it while reading my Haiku. You will see that the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the last line is 5 syllables.

At, Haiku is described as "Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression." It is true. The poet only has a total of 19 syllables in which to squeeze a moment in time. This verse format is the ultimate in distilling an experience onto paper. Though writing a Haiku may seem difficult, the good thing is that the lines do not rhyme.

If you find yourself writing a Haiku about any subject other than nature, you are writing a Senryu.

I hope you post your first Haiku, or second or third, in the comments. That way, I and others can read and give feedback.
The Creative Seller 

Poem (c)Holland Writing & Publishing 
Image: Free Stock Photos 

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