14. Haiku

The haiku is perhaps one of the most relaxing poetic forms. I mean, all you have to remember is the 5/7/5 meter, and you’ll be fine. In fact, some poets and haiku enthusiasts commonly overlook the meter and simply write whatever the hell they like.

Now, there are many variants of the haiku — the haiga, the senryu, the scifaiku — you name it (all under the collective genre of Haikai)! But for this post, we shall be focusing on that one poetic form: the haiku.

A haiku may be composed of 17 syllables in 5/7/5, but, like I said, this rule may be overlooked. There are usually a ‘kigo’ (an indicative seasonal word or phrase, as ‘dog days’ or ‘autumn breeze’) and a ‘kireji’ (a cut in the verse, usually indicated by a punctuation mark, to compare one image from the other implicitly).

The concept of a ‘kireji’ is somewhat difficult to grasp. Wikipedia makes it so much harder to get — perhaps because there isn’t a direct equivalent of the Japanese ‘kireji’ in the English language — but to put it simply, it introduces a new subject, a new image to the lines at hand. If that makes any more sense.

Cold winds cease in flight
As the sun peers past the clouds–
The earth ululates.


8 thoughts on “14. Haiku

  1. Pingback: 30. Haiku-Acrostic « Poeformology

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