How To Write Haiku Poetry Like A Pro


Hey, Everybody! Eileen here for ReadingAndWritingTips.com.
In this video, learn how to write Haiku Poetry like you’ve been writing it for years. Haiku
Poetry has been around for centuries. It started in Japan and it’s a beautiful version of poetry
that is generally written in three lines and it has five syllables, seven syllables, and
five syllables in each of those three lines. So, one thing I didn’t know about Haiku poetry
however, is that it doesn’t have to be just one stanza. So, we’ll take a look at how you
can write Haiku poetry, the mechanics of it, some examples and then I want to see your
work. So, like I said, a typical English language Haiku poem will have three lines in each stanza.
And the first line will have five syllables, the second line will have seven syllables,
and the third line will have five syllables again. Usually, Haiku poetry is themed around
nature and has a simple theme. There will usually be two main themes that are put in
opposition to each other. And I’m gonna give you some examples in just a minute but, what
you want to remember is that this is a very clean and simple form of poetry and so you
don’t wanna try to make it too complex. Even though it can be more than one stanza, you
don’t wanna make it twenty pages long. The whole point of a Haiku is that it’s simple
and short and gives you food for thought is really what they’re for. So, as I said before,
Haiku started in Japan hundreds and hundreds of years ago and there are many, many famous
poets who are renowned for their skills at the Haiku poetry form. Three of those very
famous poets are named Matsuo Bashō, Masaoka Shiki, and Kobayashi Issa. So those are three
names that if you study Haiku at all, you will see them over and over again and they
are really known as the fathers of Haiku in different forms. Basho is known by many Haiku
connoisseurs to be a favorite among pretty much everyone who reads his work. He was known
as a master of the clear and simple form of Haiku and is often thought of as one of the
fathers of Haiku as well. Shiki was known for being very strict about following the
traditional rules of Haiku poetry. So he really followed the syllable and line rule and the
themes of nature and contradictory items. He followed those very, very closely and was
known for never straying from those traditional rules. Now, Issa, was actually a pen name
that meant, ‘cup of tea’. So going along with the simple and beautiful theme of Haiku how
perfect is that to have the name ‘cup of tea’ writing your Haiku. But, Issa was also a buddhist
priest. There are tons of websites out there if you do a Google search for Haiku poetry
that can give you tons of examples and resources and guidelines. There’s a link in the description
below and also on the Resources page at ReadingAndWritingTips.com for a great website that actually gives you
a free booklet you can download about Haiku and it gives you some examples and some background
information so it’s a really great resource and you should check that out. But I’m gonna
give you some examples of Haiku poetry here. The first one is written by Issa and it goes
like this: ‘Winter seclusion, Listening that evening, To the rain in the mountain.’ So
you can hear the themes of winter and the rain and also being at peace and up on the
mountain. So, those nature themes throughout are definitely true here. And remember, Issa
was very much known for following the traditional rules so he does have the five, seven, five
syllables there in those three lines. This next piece is one of THE most favorite Haiku
poems you will ever see. If you Google Haiku poetry almost every website I visited in my
research had this Haiku poem on it and it’s by Basho. ‘An old silent pond, A frog jumps
into the pond, Splash! Silence again.’ So you have the nature themes again, this one
does not follow the traditional syllable rule so if you look at that, it’s not the traditional
syllables but remember some of these are translated from Japanese writing, and so when they, in
the translation, they may alter the syllable count as well. This third one is by Shiki.
‘Toward those short trees, We saw a hawk descending, On a day in Spring.’ So just those three lines
there, again, with the nature themes, he’s also got seasonal so he mentions Spring. So
seasonal is also a big theme that you’ll see in Haiku. But those three lines just give
you this sense of peace, this peaceful Spring day where you see a hawk flying over the trees
and you can picture it and you can almost smell the air that day and it’s just so powerful
how those three lines can bring all of that imagery into your mind. It’s really amazing.
So remember I mentioned before that Haiku doesn’t typically have to be just one stanza.
In the traditional Japanese version of Haiku, you will see one stanza. In the English language
versions of Haiku, you will see multiple stanzas. So, I took a stab at writing a four stanza
Haiku poem and it’s called ‘Solitary Day’. ‘The wind blows softly, Ruffling the waters
blue, And I sit alone. Watching a lone bird, Fly in circles around, The banks of the lake.
Tilting with the flow, His red belly flashes, Turns away from me. I close my eyes, And relish
the silence, That washes over me.’ So that’s my try. Look at the description below and
you’ll see posts, you’ll see links rather, to ReadingAndWritingTips.com. There’s lots
of Haiku and other writing resources on the Resources page. There’s also a full length
article on all of the information I’ve covered in this video. If you give Haiku a try, post
your writing in the comments below or send me an email I’d love to see it. So from now
until next time, Happy Writing!

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