Writing Activity- Haiku Writing

14 Jan

For our next activity of the group, the members have to write a haiku. The last day to submit your work is 21st January 2013. Here are some tips for you all:

A Haiku in English is a short poem which uses imagistic language to convey the essence of an experience of nature or the season intuitively linked to the human condition.It is a development of the Japanese haiku poetic form in the English language.English haiku do not adhere to the strict syllable count found in Japanese haiku,and the typical length of haiku appearing in the main English-language journals is 10–14 syllables.Some haiku poets are concerned with their haiku being expressed in one breath and the extent to which their haiku focus on “showing” as opposed to “telling”.Haiku uses an economy of words to paint a multi-tiered painting, without “telling all”.As Matsuo Bashō put it, “The haiku that reveals seventy to eighty percent of its subject is good. Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent, we never tire of.”

Ten tips for writing haiku

1.Write in three lines of about 10 to 17 syllables (some writers use a short-long-short format, but sometimes it’s better to just say what you need to say and not worry about form); haiku are usually not 17 syllables long in English.

2.Try to include some reference to the season or time of year.

3.To make your haiku more immediate, write in the present tense.

4.Write about common, everyday events in nature and in human life; choose events that give you a moment of understanding or realization about the truth of things around you—but don’t explain them.

5.Write from personal experience (memories are okay) rather than from imagination to produce haiku that are authentic and believable.

6.Create an emotional response in the reader by presenting what caused your emotion rather than the emotion itself.

7.Put two images together in the poem to create harmony or contrast, using words that are specific, common, and natural (avoid long or conceptual sorts of words).

8.One image of the haiku can appear in one of the poem’s three lines; the other image can be described in two lines (either the first two or the last two); avoid creating haiku with three images (or three grammatical parts) because this weakens the energy created by the gap between just two parts.

9.Avoid titles and rhyme (haiku virtually never have either) as well as metaphor, simile, and most other rhetorical devices (they are often too abstract or detours around the directness exhibited in most good haiku).

10.Avoid awkward or unnatural line breaks and avoid dropping or adding words just to fit a syllable count (the poem should come across as perfectly natural and easy; anything that is choppy or unnatural will detract from the reader’s perception and enjoyment—make the words come across as so natural and easy-going that the reader doesn’t even notice them). And of course, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy experiencing life through your five senses!

Best of luck!


3 Responses to “Writing Activity- Haiku Writing”

  1. Natasha January 16, 2013 at 2:29 am #

    I remember one of the first poems I wrote other than prose, was a haiku back in 2nd grade or elementary school times–they were always so fun!–but challenging in a way to get the right wordage and syllables, without making anything forced!

    • Katy Ribar January 16, 2013 at 10:16 am #

      I agree! Haiku’s were one’s of the first forms of poetry we leaned in grade school. I am excited to revisit this. I have not written a haiku in a long time. And again most think that because they are short, they are easy, not the case! You covered exactly what I was thinking Natasha!

      • Natasha January 19, 2013 at 4:22 am #

        definitely! glad i was not the only one that remembered them in grade school 🙂 i wish i would have known what I wrote back then to see what cheesy or funny poems I wrote

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