5 thoughts on “Spare Me | Winter haiku poem example | 013109

  1. Pingback: Shadow of Iris » Blog Archive » poems & stuff — February 03, 2009

  2. Matt – I don’t claim to be an expert on haiku, but, from a comment you made on your site, it seems like you are wondering about the “rules” of haiku.

    Traditional Japanese haiku were composed of 17 Japanese syllables (Ons) in a 5-7-5 pattern. In English, 17 syllables produce a more “wordy” experience than Japanese haiku, so a good guide might be two compose in three lines that follow a shorter-longer-shorter pattern, totaling about 10-14 syllables.

    Haiku also traditionally juxtapose two experiences/images using a “cut” or “break” phrase, are concrete (they “show”, rather than “tell”), and contain a reference to nature/seasons.

    Senryu, which emerged from the haiku tradition, are typically concerned more with human nature, and may be funny or witty.

    Modern haiku are diverse, but they all appear to be short (the “micropoem”), and the free-verse variety are similar to prose poems. Although most seem to retain the traditional nature references, the subject matter of haiku has expanded (e.g., “urban haiku”).

    Bill – Do you have any other thoughts on how to “define” haiku? Thanks so much for your kind compliment! I’ll keep practicing.

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