Excercise #4 – Ninja Haikus

In celebration of National Poetry Month, the WaCC Ninja describes how to write haiku

  1. You may want to begin by recalling a quietly striking moment that you want to capture. Think of a haiku as a snapshot image of a feeling (this could also be a humorous moment, a tragic moment, anything you’d like).
  2. While haiku generally include some mention of the season, or some element of nature, you don’t necessarily have to follow this rule.
  3. The haiku derives its power from a combination of brevity, sensory details and/or images, and juxtaposition. The first part of the haiku should juxtapose the second, either by being grammatically distinct, or by introducing a new image. Just be sure that there isn’t too great a disparity between the first and second parts of the haiku.
  4. The traditional Japanese structure of haiku is a one line poem divided into three phases by the number of sounds, using a dash to separate the first part of the poem with the second. The English haiku is traditionally broken into 3 lines, based on the syllable count; 5 in the first line, 7 in the second line, and 5 in the third line. Regardless of the structure, the haiku is meant to be read within one breath.
  5. Here are some examples:

In the twilight rain
these brilliant-hued hibiscus –
A lovely sunset
– Bashō

Toward those short trees
We saw a hawk descending
On a day in spring.
– Shiki

Pink petals showers
the glowing upturned faces –
A new beginning
-WaCC Ninja

  1. To learn a little bit more: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/5782
  2. Now try writing your own haiku!



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