Tuesday, 27 May 2014

How To Write A Haiku Poem

Moleskine is a notebook company, if I'm not mistaken.

So it's been a while since I've published a 'how-to' post out here, so I'm going to do just that.

A few days ago, I was browsing through a poetry website, and these beautiful haikus caught my attention:

Blowing from the west
Fallen leaves gather
In the east.
- Buson

I kill an ant
and realize my three children
have been watching.
- Kato Shuson

Cool air--
the evening mountain
becomes itself.
 - Issa

(Issa was actually a very prolific haiku poet, and one of the most famous.  Many haiku poets draw inspiration from his haikus.)
Haikus are normally used to represent natural phenomena and happenings, but they can also be used to describe certain mundane or everyday situations.  For example:

Tired cat sleeps all night.
He needs lots of rest for a
Long day of napping.
 - Kenn Nesbitt

This was just to give you an example of how haiku poems are generally written.  Haikus are mostly easy to write, but capturing a whole scene in three lines, conforming to a set standard of syllable counts in each line, can sometimes be more difficult than most poets think (at first glance).
Anyway, here is how I write all my haiku poems (although I haven't written many):
Step One: Decide What You Want to Write.
This is often the easiest step in the process of writing a haiku.  You could write about flowers blooming in spring, leaves falling in autumn, the sun melting a snowman, snow on the sidewalk, a full moon, anything!  Haikus are very diverse in that respect.

Step Two: Condense It.
Decide what exactly you want to depict in your poem.  Describe what you want to write about in four or five lines.
What will the haiku sound like?  Will be happy, or sad?  Will the ending be unprecedented, or predictable?  You choose.

Step Three: Give It Structure.
So now that you've decided what to write in your haiku, you have to structure your idea according to the 'rules' for a haiku.
The first line usually contains five syllables, the second line has seven, and the third line has five again, sorta like this:

My homework is late.
My dog ate it this morning.
I sure like my dog.
 - Kenn Nesbitt
(You have to admit that's funny!)

There!  You have a haiku poem!  
The syllable count isn't always five-seven-five, I've seen haikus (mostly Issa's) that have only two syllables in the first line, six in the second, and three in the third. 

Here are some I wrote:

An apple cries out
In pain, in grief, slices, tortured--
No stains on the knife.
 - Vruta Gupte.
(Poor apple.)

Silence at sunrise
No birds cooing softly;
Concrete everywhere.

 - Vruta Gupte.

Feel free to write some of your own haikus in the comment section below!  (Click on the timestamp or on the post title.  Disqus comments are enabled.) 

~ migration.

Dear Reader, (If anyone has happened to chance upon this rather not-so-very-secret diary of mine) it is my simultaneous pleasure and occa...