How to Haiku – J.L. Fizzell

As you may already know, my favourite style of poetry is free verse. I’ve never been very good at following rules, so naturally as a writer I drifted towards a style that allowed me the creative freedom I needed to express myself. With that being said, I do try and push myself to write other styles of poetry every now and again. I think it’s good to push yourself as a writer, but also, by trying out different styles you garner a deeper appreciation and understanding for the art itself.

Haiku is form of poetry with Japanese origins dating back to the 17th century, at least according to the Encyclopedia Britanica. While it has become an internationally renown form of poetry, I think it’s important to pay homage to it’s beginnings. Haiku poems are beautiful in their simplicity, illiciting all sorts of thoughts and emotions based on an incredibly simple formula that dictates how many lines and syllable are allowed in the poem. While they’re are not among my favourite to write, I do love how a few lines can take you down a road much longer than first glance might lead you to believe. When it comes to poetry, quality over quantity is always a good rule of thumb, and Haiku is a shining example of just that.

Composing your own Haiku is simple enough, you just have to follow the 5-7-5 rule. What does that mean? Remember how we were talking about syllables? That’s your count. Three lines, each line is  a allotted number of syllables: 1st line = 5 syllables , 2nd = 7, and the 3rd = 5. This comes together for a total of 17 syllables for the entire poem. I guess you could say that Haiku is the original version of the ever popular Micropoetry. If you’re into poetry I strongly suggest that you give this style a try, if for no other reason than to say that you have.

If you’re looking for some inspiration or examples to get you going, I’ve posted a few of my favourites from some very talented poets sharing their works on Instagram. If a particular poem stands out, each of them is hyperlinked to their origins so you can read more from that particular poet or share some love with them.

Happy Saturday!
Post your Haikus in the comments. I would love to see what you come up with.

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