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How to Write Haiku

Updated on February 23, 2008

Haiku Poetry

A Japanese style poetry that is famous for its simply read and written 3 lines poems. Traditionally, haiku poems contained a seasoned word, or kigo, that represented the time, or season, of the poem. Most haiku poems are written about a part of nature, or at least involves the natural world to some degree.

Basics to Writing Haiku

Remember that haiku poems are only 3 lines- no more and no less.

You have to choose your words carefully because you are restricted by the syllables in each word. When composing a haiku poem, you want to have 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third, final, line.

You want to count your syllables carefully. Make sure to count the word phonetically versus how it sounds when you speak it, which may be different.

Each line of a haiku poem is broken up with distinct grammatical breaks, called kireji, which is usually placed at the end of the first or second line in the poem.

Tips to Writing Haiku

  1. Understand the basic format of a haiku.
  2. Pick a general topic. Most haiku poems focus on the imagery of nature and the natural world.
  3. Pick a season. Because most haiku poems are set around nature, it is easy to pick a topic related to a season.
  4. Contrast. Try to evoke an emotional impact on the last line. In many haiku poems, the poet will switch moods on the second or third line.

When looking that the four seasons, you can come up with a variety of ideas and themes:

  • Winter: cold, sadness, hunger, peace
  • Summer: warmth, love, anger, temptation
  • Fall (Autumn): decay, supernatural, jealousy, saying good- bye, regret, misery
  • Spring: infatuation, youth, passion, fickleness, birth or rebirth

Other Tips:

  1. When writing your haiku poem, it'll come easier if you write what you're feeling, versus what you see.
  2. You don't have to make full sentence. Haiku excepts all forms of writing, and that includes phrases.
  3. Have fun. Haiku poems don't have to be 100% serious in matter. Make it funny.

Funny Haiku Poems

Make your haiku fun and interesting.

* * * * *

The website you seek.

Cannot be located, but

Countless more exist.

* * * * *

Having been erased

The document you're seeking

Must know be retyped.

* * * * *

Your file was too big.

It might have been very useful.

But now it is gone.

* * * * *

Gum in my brother's hair

Why, who would have put it there?

Me. Soap for lunch, please!

Examples of Haiku


this autumn

as reason for growing old

a cloud and a bird

* * * * *

the cruelty

of being under a helmet

a cricket

Jane Reichhold

Putting on lipstick

Before writing the letter

White-glove lady

* * * * *

With cold fingers

Writing down words

Everyone knows


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    • Sharen Hansen profile image

      Sharen Hansen 7 years ago

      I love haiku.

      I have not done much. Here is one, how is it?

      A brd was chirping

      I feeling perturbed scolded

      the bird poop came splatt

    • profile image

      denal 7 years ago

      Creatures have homes

      Called environments

      Humans ruin them

    • F J McCarthy profile image

      F J McCarthy 8 years ago

      Love the Haiku's I have written a few ,great page ,thank you.

    • profile image

      Austin 8 years ago

      Rain is a soother

      It drizzles from the heavens

      Calms the mind for sleep

      Do you guys like it?

    • stephhicks68 profile image

      Stephanie Hicks 10 years ago from Bend, Oregon

      I really like this Hub! I thought about one on Haiku, and yours is very instructive and interesting!

    • Raven King profile image

      Raven King 10 years ago from Cabin Fever

      Nice haiku! I really like the bird photo.