The Curious Autodidact

May 30, 2009

How to Write Haiku

Filed under: Word Related — Honilima @ 10:54 am

In Japanese, the rules for how to write Haiku are clear, and will not be discussed here. In foreign languages, there exist NO consensus in how to write Haiku-poems. Here’s a look at the basic knowledge you need to give it a try:

What to write about?

Haiku-poems can describe almost anything, but you seldom find themes which are too complicated for normal people’s recognition and understanding. Some of the most thrilling Haiku-poems describe daily situations in a way that gives the reader a brand new experience of a well-known situation.

The metrical pattern of Haiku

Haiku-poems consist of respectively 5, 7 and 5 syllables in three units. lt.

The technique of cutting

The cutting divides the Haiku into two parts, with a certain imaginative distance between the two sections, but the two sections must remain, to a degree, independent of each other. Both sections must enrich the understanding of the other.

To make this cutting in English, either the first or the second line often ends with a colon, long dash or ellipsis.

The seasonal theme.

Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, which indicate in which season the Haiku is set. For example, cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow indicate winter, and mosquitoes indicate summer, but the season word isn’t always that obvious.

Please notice that Haiku-poems are written under different rules and in many languages. For translated Haiku-poems, the translator must decide whether he should obey the rules strictly, or if he should present the exact essence of the Haiku.

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