ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Books, Literature, and Writing»
  • Poems & Poetry

Haiku meaning and examples

Updated on August 24, 2013

One way of writing your own poetry is to imitate the structure of the Japanese haiku. The Haiku is a tiny verse-form in which the Japanese poets have been working for hundreds of years. The haiku is a simple but subtle little poem of seventeen syllables.


The fierce wind rages 
And I see how trees survive 
They have learned to bend.  
The lonely raindrop
Hurtling silently downwards
Slices humid air.

The Haiku Form

  1. A haiku is unrhymed.

  2. It is three lines long.

  3. It has 17 syllables in all : line 1 has 5 syllables - line 2 has 7 syllables - line 3 has 5 syllables.

  4. It is always written in the present tense

  5. It contains strong visual images.

  6. It captures a fleeting moment usually to do with nature or the seasons

  7. It uses very few words while suggsting a great deal.

Haiku is not expected to be always a complete or even a clear statement. The reader is supposed to add to the words his own associations and imagery and thus to become a co-creator of his own pleasure in the poem.

I have compiled some of my favourite Japanese Haiku. I hope that you will enjoy them as much I enjoy putting them together.

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Click thumbnail to view full-size

Haiku Writers

  • Basho (1644-1694) - One of the greatest of haiku writers. In his later years he was a student of Zen Buddhism and his later poems which are his best express the rapturous awareness in the mystical philosophy of the identity of life in all its forms. With this awareness, Basho immersed himself in even the tiniest things and with religious fervor and sure craftmanship converted them into poetry. He was loved by his followers and other poets. His Zen philosophy has been perpetuated in later haiku.
  • Buson (1715-1783) - He was a little more sophisticated and detached than his predecessor and an equally exquisite writer.
  • Issa (1763-1827) - He was less poetic but more lovable than Basho and Buson. His tender, witty haiku about his dead children, his bitter poverty, his little insect friends, endear him to every reader.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

I have made a powerpoint presentation about Haiku, but since I cannot post it as powerpoint I have made them as pictures.

Click thumbnail to view full-size

Related Hubs - Poetry

  • Simile and Metaphor

    Discover how to use simile and metaphor and how it will create images or pictures in the minds of the readers.

  • Acrostic Name Poems

    Acrostic name poems are simple poems in which each the first letter of each line forms a word or phrase vertically it uses each letter of the name to begin an inspiring phrase.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • KrisL profile image

      KrisL 5 years ago from S. Florida

      I love how you found such lovely graphics to go with the haiku.

      I linked to this hub in my new one, What is a Haiga? (a haiku + picture), which I hope you'll enjoy.

      (Also voted "beautiful" and shared)

    • Godslittlechild profile image

      Godslittlechild 8 years ago

      I enjoyed this hub very much. Haiku is one of my favorite types of verse.

    • MM Del Rosario profile image

      MM Del Rosario 8 years ago from NSW, Australia

      Hi All,

      Thank you very much for visiting my haiku hub, I enjoy putting this hub together I am glad you like it ......God Bless.


    • KJRaider profile image

      KJRaider 8 years ago

      Worderful I love the photos too. you did a great job. Keep up the grand work. My computer has been down for 3 weeks so I have not been able to keep up.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      I was going to write a hub just like this one, but you beat me to it! I'm not going to try now, seeing that you did such a great job with this. Thanks!

    • Aqua profile image

      Aqua 8 years ago from California

      Perfect timing for me to find this hub. I have to write some Haikus for a class and this info will help me - I am bookmarking it. Thanks!

    • shamelabboush profile image

      shamelabboush 8 years ago

      Very sensitive kind of poetry. Thanks.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)