Thursday 7 May 2015

Can You Haiku?

For the next couple of weeks, I am going to study a different type of poem each day.  Today I am focussing on the haiku.  Originating in Japan, a haiku often discusses subjects from nature:  seasons, months, animals, insects, even a blade of grass.  Notsume Soseki, the Charles Dickens of Japan wrote many poems, including the following haiku:

Over the wintry forest 
winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

Haiku poems must be 17 syllables in length.  The first line is 5 syllables, the second is 7 syllables and the third is five.  It does not have to rhyme.  Punctuation is up to the poet.  The following poem, written by Charlotte Puddifoot, won first prize in a haiku contest last year:  

Dainty daffodil
your golden trumpet fanfares
the dawning of spring.

A haiku which ends with a surprising twist is considered very effective:

Crystal flakes
Hang on pine branches
Torn leaves fall.

Here is my first attempt at a haiku, Strawberries, written for an online poetry course several summers ago:

Red, ripe and ready,
Waiting to be picked today
In a plastic bowl.

Now it's your turn to try your hand at a haiku.  Although they are quite short, they are deceivingly difficult to write.  Measure your words carefully.  Every syllable counts!

1 comment:

  1. dainty daffodil your golden trumpet fanfares the dawning of spring

    Please can you amend your comment. I am the author of the poem - it was entered in a contest where Charlotte Puddifoot was the sponsor. Many thanks Jan Allison