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Haiku Snow

Updated on May 18, 2016

like a black sculpture

the winter tree skeleton

outlined in the snow

Over the past few weeks the United Kingdom has experienced the heaviest snowfall in thirty years.  It's the most snow I've ever seen!  The guidelines for this type of poetry explain that each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word which indicates which season the Haiku is set. For example cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow winter etc. I felt it was a perfect opportunity to allow some haiku to emerge.  I hope you enjoy these and better still, are inspired to write some of your own.

Guidelines for Writing Haiku

  • Haiku poems consist of 5, 7, 5 syllables in three lines.
  • The cutting divides the Haiku in two parts with a certain imaginative distance between the two sections. Line one and two should be different images. Line three brings the two images together.
  • Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word which indicates which season the Haiku is set. For example cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow winter etc. The season word isn’t always that obvious.
  • Try to write a haiku only about what actually happens to you.

  • Write when you have been deeply moved. Keep it honest, simple, clear and modest.
  • Try not to explain, it should need no explanation. Try not to express feelings in words, let the concrete action speak for itself.

Guidelines for Reading Haiku and Other Poetry

Rule One - Read Them Slowly!  It's Like Eating Chocolate

Savour every word and every line. Reading verse can be like eating chocolate - so much more pleasurable when you allow it slowly to melt inside of you, so much less rewarding when you snap off big chunks and bolt them whole, all but untasted. In our age, one of the glories of poetry is that it remains an art that demonstrates the virtues and pleasures of taking your time. You can never read a poem too slowly, but you can certainly read one too fast.

Read out loud. Among the pleasures of poetry is the sheer physical, sensual, textural, tactile pleasure of feeling the words on your lips, tongue, teeth and vocal chords.

Rule Two - Don't Look for Meaning

Never worry about ‘meaning’ when you are reading poems. Just as the reading of each poem takes time, so a relationship with the whole art of poetry itself takes time. Observation of Rule One will allow meaning to emerge at its own pace.

black and white fields

the colour has been sucked out

all covered in snow

scavenging starling

eating scraps at the station

no food in the snow

its all behind me

can’t feel that part anymore

sitting on the bench

 

never been so cold

trudging across the tundra

going to the shops

bmw

rear wheel drive no good for snow

it gets me nowhere

igloos in the snow

so bored with building snowmen

creation abounds

it’s whiter than them

as they walk and search for food

sheep outlined by snow

white sheep aren’t so white

against the blanketed snow

easy to see them

a smooth tablecloth

replaces colour with white

that’s my back garden

Flurry of white spray

as the tree unburdens snow

picturesque landing

sitting on the train

watching the white fields go by

haiku come to mind

pigeons on the roof

huddling together for warmth

with nowhere to go

frozen like statues

nowhere to go in the snow

hugging the rooftops

as the weather turns

snowdrops the promise of spring

in February

Comments

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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      3 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      Russ, 18 months with no further comments must mean that everything has already been said? This was craftily crafted and informative. I understand there are other structures for haiku, and your instructions on Japanese haiku are right on. I am pushing for American haiku which address human nature, albeit as 5-7-5 or as senryu which are a series of 5-7-5 strung together which these would create. This was an enjoyable read. Thanks.

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      4 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Kyles, thank you, I am encouraged by your comments. I don't enjoy the cold winters and have made a conscious effort to look for the beauty and wonder that happens during this time so that I don't waste so many months that are really magical if one looks for it.

    • profile image

      kylesanderson 

      4 years ago

      I was skimming through the haiku section to better familiarize myself with this form of writing, but I felt compelled to stop and leave a comment on this one. Thoroughly enjoy this. Even though it's about the cold of winter and snow, they make me feel warm and cozy inside.

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Krys, thank you, I hope that's the first of many!

    • profile image

      Krys 

      6 years ago

      You have inspired me to attempt and make my first haiku...

      I cant take no more

      Snowflakes falling like diamonds

      melting on the ground

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Rusian.

    • profile image

      Ruslan 

      6 years ago

      Very beautiful

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Danger01, I really admire your work too.

    • danger01 profile image

      danger01 

      6 years ago from Atlanta GA

      This is beautiful Russ. It really helps me better understand what I am trying to write. great job of combining beauty and instruction.

      Allen

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thank you Megni, loved your comments and really appreciated your praise. Russ

    • megni profile image

      megni 

      6 years ago

      Enjoyable. It takes a lifetime trying to write Haiku in the way they should be written. You've done it in less. Good work.

      (A lifetime is enough/who wants frozen tundra forever/ one white page will do.)Couldn't resist the urge.

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Mona, thank you so much! Only a few of the photographs are mine. I love being able to take the photo of the moment that inspired the haiku in the first place. For example, staring at my car and wondering how I was ever going to get to work. The BMW has a front-wheel drive and absolutely useless in this kind of snow.

    • Mona Germain profile image

      Mona Germain 

      6 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      This is fantastic as a haiku wonderland and as an instruction guide. Your explanation, in its simple, easy to follow format is so useful and your hints are excellent. The way you speak of the cut line is awesome too. This is the hardest thing to get, I find. I am still learning to make them. Your guide on reading poetry is so right on too. I appreciate your thinking. this hub is really accessible for those who may want to try the form and get a better understanding of what they are reading! I loved it. I assume these are your photos!They are terrific. Yet the words say it all. I applaud your mastery!

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Cat, coming from you, that really is a compliment. I also love your attitude towards Winter. Growing up in South Africa, it's been difficult to approach the UK WInter with a positive attitude but I will keep on striving to do so.

    • cat on a soapbox profile image

      Catherine Tally 

      6 years ago from Los Angeles

      Hi Russ,

      What a treat for me! These haiku poems are wonderful as are the visual images.

      I am especially fond of winter since it is a time for rest and contemplation. I also love the serenity of B&W w/ the occasional colorful punctuation. Thank you for sharing them. Well done!

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi 2uesday, thanks for your comments. Please keep on trying, or not really trying, just let it flow and it will probably come naturally after a while. I find it is the trying that makes it difficult. Russ

    • 2uesday profile image

      2uesday 

      6 years ago

      This is informative about Haiku poetry as well as enjoyable to read. I have attempted to write Haiku in the past but the style does not come naturally to me.

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      6 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Cre8ive one, thank you and let me know how you get on. Russ

    • cre8ivOne profile image

      cre8ivOne 

      6 years ago from Midwest, USA

      Very nice!

      I like to write poetry, and haiku is next on my list!

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      What great feedback! Thank you so much, I'm glad you enjoyed it. Russ

    • Minnetonka Twin profile image

      Linda Rogers 

      8 years ago from Minnesota

      Russ-First off I really liked the haikus and secondly I loved that you gave us info on writing them. Great hub, I rated it up and beautiful. P.S.-I love the picture of the skeleton like tree in winter. BEAUTIFUL!

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Moulik, I find that if I think about the 5 7 5, then it's difficult and when it does happen, it's never any good. WHat works for me is just to let a picture or story emerge and somehow, it often fits into the 5 7 5. Try it and let me know. Thanks for your comments Russ

    • Moulik Mistry profile image

      Moulik Mistry 

      8 years ago from Burdwan, West Bengal, India

      Nice haikus - my problem is that I have so far not been able to get hold of system of 5-7-5 syllables...

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Sage, please give it a try and let me know how you get on. Russ

    • Sage Williams profile image

      Sage Williams 

      8 years ago

      Russ - this is the second hub that I have read on writing Haiku's. I really must give it a try. Thanks so much, I am loving your writing.

      Sage

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      And thank you Larry my friend! You are the master of feedback. Always eloquent and generous. Russ

    • maven101 profile image

      maven101 

      8 years ago from Northern Arizona

      Russ...Simply wonderful images crowding my mind as I read your haiku to my cat...he is my steady companion every morning when I fire up the computer, and usually the recipient of my vocal commentaries...

      You have given us a lovely haiku treat, complete with evocative photos of the winter wonderland that has descended on your fair Island...

      Thank you, my friend...you remain the Master...Larry

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Thanks Vladimer, I look forward to reading yours! Go well.

    • Russ Baleson profile imageAUTHOR

      Russ Baleson 

      8 years ago from Sandhurst, United Kingdom

      Hi Tony, thanks, thinking of you in the heat. Glad I could send some fresh air. Take care my friend.

      Russ x

    • Vladimir Uhri profile image

      Vladimir Uhri 

      8 years ago from HubPages, FB

      i love very much

      reading

      each Haiku hub

    • tonymac04 profile image

      Tony McGregor 

      8 years ago from South Africa

      Wow Russ - here I sit with sweat dripping and longing for a cool breeze! And that's exactly what your haiku were to me - a lovely refreshing fresh breeze! Your photos are also wonderful.

      Thanks so much for a breat of fresh air blown into my hot, hot day!

      Love and peace

      Tony

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