Short and Sweet: Haiku for Four Seasons

Llanberis High Street Early on a Spring Morning

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Earth spins more quickly,

open wide spring morning’s sash,

totter on frail pins.

This haiku comments on the feeling of frailty one has as an older adult, and contrasts that feeling with the ever-busier world and with the energetic embrace of life as felt by those physically younger and stronger. Contrast is clear between the excitement and outpouring of energy in a spring morning and the weakness of an aging body, especially when first arising.

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Unyielding sun’s scorch

reflects the sound of children

yelling as they play.

This haiku compares the screams of children at play to the intense blast of the summer sun. While I certainly remember with pleasure playing as a child, I wrote this a few years ago after miserably enduring hours of screaming games played by neighborhood children in the complex's swimming pool, which unfortunately was just outside the window at my apartment. The intensity of both the sun and playing children during their summer vacation expresses one side of the season of summer.

Source

Lethargy and the

slow, hot autumn night falling

leave me no escape.

Indian Summer means autumn days that stay warm into evening. Despite the approach of cooler weather, one sometimes remains awake and restless into the autumn evening. The idea of "no escape" refers to the position of having to take responsibility for one's insomnia, irritability, needs, and desires when uncomfortable long into evening.

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Snowflakes whiter than

blossoms of Edelweiss fall—

the mountain’s cold tears.

The contrast between the lovely sweet Edelweiss flowers of the Alps and the notion of frozen tears is the heart of this poem. If raindrops are tears, snowflakes are simply frozen tears. Additional contrast is formed between the soft, light flowers and snowflakes and the solid hardness of the mountain.

Titles?

Traditionally, haiku do not have titles since 1) they should be minimal and 2) since the poems themselves should be strong enough to be self-explanatory--no titles needed.

Teaching Haiku Writing

Haiku is a wonderful form of poetry that originated in Japan. Traditional Japanese haiku differs in some ways from the more relaxed modern international form of haiku. Writing modern haiku is rather easy to teach since its form is simple and clear and since most people can easily feel and imagine connections between nature and human experience.

According to Michael Dylan Welch, in a 2003 article, "Ten Tips for Writing Haiku," (http://www.haikuworld.org/begin/mdwelch.tentips.html) published online at haikuworld.org , the author of a haiku should follow ten guidelines, number four being, "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" (par.3).

Welch's "Tips" are excellent, but vary somewhat here and there from traditional rules of haiku. He doesn't mention in the "Tips," for example, the traditionally-essential kareji (cutting word) that "resonates and causes the poem to split or end reflectively" ("What is Haiku?" par. 8). While a kareji is not required in modern international haiku, the original Japanese form was absolutely strict.

Here is a link to an online resource for teaching haiku writing to students in grades 3-5:

http://www.readwritethink.org/classroom-resources/lesson-plans/seasonal-haiku-writing-poems-39.html


Works Cited

Welch, Michael Dylan. "Ten Tips for Writing Haiku." haikuworld.org . N.p. 28 Feb. 2011. Web. 5 Nov. 2011.

"What is Haiku?" haikujournal.org. N.p. N. d. Web. 5. Nov. 2011.

Here's a Beautiful Short Tutorial on Writing Haiku

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Comments 8 comments

Mysticalmoon profile image

Mysticalmoon 5 years ago from Idaho Falls, ID

Thank you for explain Haikus better for other beginner poem writers would understand.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 5 years ago from California Author

Hi Mysticalmoon,

You're welcome! I am just beginning with Haiku myself. Have fun writing them!


2uesday profile image

2uesday 5 years ago from - on the web, I am 2uesday.

Hello healingsword this page contains interesting information about Haiku writing. I have attempted this but I found it more difficult than it appears to be. My favorite Haiku here is the winter one, as I read it,it sort of echos like a voice would on a cold snowy day. Thank you.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 5 years ago from California Author

Hi 2uesday,

Thank you for reading and commenting on my Hub. You're right; writing good Haiku is not as simple as one might think--rather like writing good Hubs, right? Thanks for sharing which you liked best, too. I think I like the autumn one best, but unfortunately, too often I can relate to the spring one with the frail pins.


Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

This hub is very useful. I, myself, have some difficulties when it comes to poetry writing, so when I find a hub like this it inspires me to try again.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 4 years ago from California Author

Hi Phoebe Pike, Thanks very much for stopping by and for your comment. I'm very happy that you feel like writing after reading this Hub!


swalia profile image

swalia 13 months ago

Lovely Haikus about seasons and great tips on writing Haiku. This form of poetry is new to me and this hub inspires me to try my hand at it.


healingsword profile image

healingsword 13 months ago from California Author

Hi Swalia, Thank you for your kind words and for reading my Hub. Haiku are fun to write; why not experiment with the form? Good luck!

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