Sea haiku

Sea haiku DEFAULT


This article is about the Japanese poetic form. For haiku poetry written in English, see Haiku in English. For other uses, see Haiku (disambiguation).

Japanese poetry form

Haiku by Matsuo Bashōreading "Quietly, quietly, / yellow mountain roses fall – / sound of the rapids".

Haiku (俳句, About this soundlisten (help·info)) is a type of short form poetry originally from Japan. Traditional Japanese haiku consist of three phrases that contain a kireji, or "cutting word",[1] 17 on (phonetic units similar to syllables) in a 5, 7, 5 pattern,[2] and a kigo, or seasonal reference. Similar poems that do not adhere to these rules are generally classified as senryū.[3]

Haiku originated as an opening part of a larger Japanese poem called renga. These haiku written as an opening stanza were known as hokku and over time writers began to write them as their own stand-alone poems. Haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.[4]

Originally from Japan, haiku today are written by authors worldwide. Haiku in English and haiku in other languages have their own styles and traditions while still incorporating aspects of the traditional haiku form. Non-Japanese haiku vary widely on how closely they follow traditional elements. A minority movement within modern Japanese haiku (現代俳句, gendai-haiku), supported by Ogiwara Seisensui and his disciples, has varied from the tradition of 17 on as well as of taking nature as their subject.

In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed as a single line, while haiku in English often appear as three lines.

There are several other forms of Japanese poetry related to haiku, such as tanka, as well as other art forms that incorporate haiku, such as haibun and haiga.

Traditional elements[edit]

Kiru and Kireji[edit]

Main article: Kireji

In Japanese haiku, a kireji, or cutting word, typically appears at the end of one of the verse's three phrases. A kireji fills a role analogous to that of a caesura in classical western poetry or to a volta in sonnets.[5] Depending on which cutting word is chosen, and its position within the verse, it may briefly cut the stream of thought, suggesting a parallel between the preceding and following phrases, or it may provide a dignified ending, concluding the verse with a heightened sense of closure.[6]

The kireji lends the verse structural support,[7] allowing it to stand as an independent poem.[8][9] The use of kireji distinguishes haiku and hokku from second and subsequent verses of renku; which may employ semantic and syntactic disjuncture, even to the point of occasionally end-stopping a phrase with a sentence-ending particle (終助詞, shūjoshi). However, renku typically employ kireji.[10]

In English, since kireji have no direct equivalent, poets sometimes use punctuation such as a dash or ellipsis, or an implied break to create a juxtaposition intended to prompt the reader to reflect on the relationship between the two parts.

The kireji in the Bashō examples "old pond" and "the wind of Mt Fuji" are both "ya" (や). Neither the remaining Bashō example nor the Issa example contain a kireji although they do both balance a fragment in the first five on against a phrase in the remaining 12 on (it may not be apparent from the English translation of the Issa that the first five on mean "Edo's rain").


Main article: On (Japanese prosody)

In comparison with English verse typically characterized by syllabic meter, Japanese verse counts sound units known as on or morae. Traditional haiku is usually fixed verse that consists of 17 on, in three phrases of five, seven, and five on, respectively. Among modern poems, teikei (定型 fixed form) haiku continue to use the 5-7-5 pattern while jiyuritsu (自由律 free form) haiku do not.[citation needed] However, one of the examples below illustrates that traditional haiku masters were not always constrained by the 5-7-5 pattern either. The jiyuritsu was advocated for by Ogiwara Seisensui and his disciples.

Although the word on is sometimes translated as "syllable", the true meaning is more nuanced. One on in Japanese is counted for a short syllable, two for an elongated vowel or doubled consonant, and one for an "n" at the end of a syllable. Thus, the word "haibun", though counted as two syllables in English, is counted as four on in Japanese (ha-i-bu-n); and the word "on" itself, which English-speakers would view as a single syllable, comprises two on: the short vowel o and the moraic nasal. This is illustrated by the Issa haiku below, which contains 17 on but only 15 syllables. Conversely, some sounds, such as "kyo" (きょ) may look like two syllables to English speakers but are in fact a single on (as well as a single syllable) in Japanese.

In 1973, the Haiku Society of America noted that the norm for writers of haiku in English was to use 17 syllables, but they also noted a trend toward shorter haiku.[11] Shorter haiku are very much more common in 21st century English haiku writing. About 12 syllables in English approximates the duration of 17 Japanese on.[12][additional citation(s) needed]


Main article: Kigo

A haiku traditionally contains a kigo, a word or phrase that symbolizes or implies the season of the poem and which is drawn from a saijiki, an extensive but prescriptive list of such words.

Kigo are often in the form of metonyms[citation needed] and can be difficult for those who lack Japanese cultural references to spot.[citation needed] The Bashō examples below include "kawazu", "frog" implying spring, and "shigure", a rain shower in late autumn or early winter. Kigo are not always included in non-Japanese haiku or by modern writers of Japanese free form haiku.[citation needed]


One of the best-known Japanese haiku[13] is Bashō's "old pond":

        furu ike ya kawazu tobikomu mizu no oto


old pond
frog leaps in
water's sound

This separates into on as:

fu-ru-i-ke ya (5)
ka-wa-zu to-bi-ko-mu (7)
mi-zu-no-o-to (5)

Another haiku by Bashō:

        hatsu shigure saru mo komino o hoshige nari[15]


the first cold shower
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw

This separates into on as:

ha-tsu shi-gu-re (5)
sa-ru mo ko-mi-no o (7)
ho-shi-ge na-ri (5)

As another example, this haiku by Bashō illustrates that he was not always constrained to a 5-7-5 on pattern. It contains 18 on in the pattern 6-7-5 ("ō" or おう is treated as two on.)

        Fuji no kaze ya ōgi ni nosete Edo miyage[16]


the wind of Fuji
I've brought on my fan
a gift from Edo

This separates into "on" as:

fu-ji no ka-ze ya (6)
o-u-gi ni no-se-te (7)
e-do mi-ya-ge (5)

This haiku by Issa[17] illustrates that 17 Japanese on do not always equate to 17 English syllables ("nan" counts as two on and "nonda" as three.)

        Edo no ame nan goku nonda hototogisu


of Edo's rain
how many mouthful did you drink,

This separates into "on" as,

e-do no a-me (5)
na-n go-ku no-n-da (7)
ho-to-to-gi-su (5)

Origin and development[edit]

From hokku to haiku[edit]

Main articles: Renga and Renku

Hokku is the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or renga, and of its later derivative, renku (or haikai no renga). By the time of Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694), the hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (a combination of prose and hokku), and haiga (a combination of painting with hokku). In the late 19th century, Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) renamed the standalone hokku to haiku.[18] The latter term is now generally applied retrospectively to all hokku appearing independently of renku or renga, irrespective of when they were written, and the use of the term hokku to describe a stand-alone poem is considered obsolete.[19]


Main articles: Matsuo Bashō and Hokku

In the 17th century, two masters arose who elevated haikai and gave it a new popularity. They were Matsuo Bashō (1644–1694) and Uejima Onitsura (1661–1738). Hokku is the first verse of the collaborative haikai or renku, but its position as the opening verse made it the most important, setting the tone for the whole composition. Even though hokku had sometimes appeared individually, they were always understood in the context of renku.[20] The Bashō school promoted standalone hokku by including many in their anthologies, thus giving birth to what is now called "haiku". Bashō also used his hokku as torque points[clarification needed] within his short prose sketches and longer travel diaries. This subgenre of haikai is known as haibun. His best-known work, Oku no Hosomichi, or Narrow Roads to the Interior, is counted as one of the classics of Japanese literature[21] and has been translated into English extensively.

Bashō was deified by both the imperial government and Shinto religious headquarters one hundred years after his death because he raised the haikai genre from a playful game of wit to sublime poetry. He continues to be revered as a saint of poetry in Japan, and is the one name from classical Japanese literature that is familiar throughout the world.[22]


Main article: Yosa Buson

The next famous style of haikai to arise was that of Yosa Buson (1716–1783) and others such as Kitō, called the Tenmei style after the Tenmei Era (1781–1789) in which it was created.

Buson is recognized as one of the greatest masters of haiga (an art form where the painting is combined with haiku or haikai prose). His affection for painting can be seen in the painterly style of his haiku.[23]


Main article: Kobayashi Issa

No new popular style followed Buson. However, a very individualistic, and at the same time humanistic, approach to writing haiku was demonstrated by the poet Kobayashi Issa (1763–1827), whose miserable childhood, poverty, sad life, and devotion to the Pure Land sect of Buddhism are evident in his poetry. Issa made the genre immediately accessible to wider audiences.


Main article: Masaoka Shiki

Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902) was a reformer and modernizer. A prolific writer, even though chronically ill during a significant part of his life, Shiki disliked the 'stereotype' of haikai writers of the 19th century who were known by the deprecatory term tsukinami, meaning 'monthly', after the monthly or twice-monthly haikai gatherings of the end of the 18th century (in regard to this period of haikai, it came to mean 'trite' and 'hackneyed'). Shiki also criticized Bashō.[citation needed] Like the Japanese intellectual world in general at that time, Shiki was strongly influenced by Western culture. He favored the painterly style of Buson and particularly the European concept of plein-airpainting, which he adapted to create a style of haiku as a kind of nature sketch in words, an approach called shasei (写生, "sketching from life"). He popularized his views by verse columns and essays in newspapers.

Hokku up to the time of Shiki, even when appearing independently, were written in the context of renku.[20] Shiki formally separated his new style of verse from the context of collaborative poetry. Being agnostic,[24] he also separated it from the influence of Buddhism. Further, he discarded the term "hokku" and proposed the term haiku as an abbreviation of the phrase "haikai no ku" meaning a verse of haikai,[25] although the term predates Shiki by some two centuries, when it was used to mean any verse of haikai.[citation needed] Since then, "haiku" has been the term usually applied in both Japanese and English to all independent haiku, irrespective of their date of composition. Shiki's revisionism dealt a severe blow to renku and surviving haikai schools. The term "hokku" is now used chiefly in its original sense of the opening verse of a renku, and rarely to distinguish haiku written before Shiki's time.[citation needed]

Exposure to the West[edit]

The earliest westerner known to have written haiku was the Dutchman Hendrik Doeff (1764–1837), who was the Dutch commissioner in the Dejima trading post in Nagasaki during the first years of the 19th century.[26] One of his haiku is the following:[27]

稲妻の inazuma no
腕を借らん kaina wo karan
草枕 kusamakura

lend me your arms,
fast as thunderbolts,
for a pillow on my journey.

Although there were further attempts outside Japan to imitate the "hokku" in the early 20th century, there was little understanding of its principles.[citation needed] Early Western scholars such as Basil Hall Chamberlain (1850–1935) and William George Aston were mostly dismissive of hokku's poetic value.


Main article: Reginald Horace Blyth

R. H. Blyth was an Englishman who lived in Japan. He produced a series of works on Zen, haiku, senryū, and on other forms of Japanese and Asian literature. In 1949, with the publication in Japan of the first volume of Haiku, the four-volume work by Blyth, haiku were introduced to the post-war English-speaking world. This four-volume series (1949–52) described haiku from the pre-modern period up to and including Shiki. Blyth's History of Haiku (1964) in two volumes is regarded as a classical study of haiku. Today Blyth is best known as a major interpreter of haiku to English speakers. His works have stimulated the writing of haiku in English.


Main article: Kenneth Yasuda

The Japanese-American scholar and translator Kenneth Yasuda published The Japanese Haiku: Its Essential Nature, History, and Possibilities in English, with Selected Examples in 1957. The book includes both translations from Japanese and original poems of his own in English, which had previously appeared in his book titled A Pepper-Pod: Classic Japanese Poems together with Original Haiku. In these books Yasuda presented a critical theory about haiku, to which he added comments on haiku poetry by early 20th-century poets and critics. His translations apply a 5–7–5 syllable count in English, with the first and third lines end-rhymed. Yasuda considered that haiku translated into English should utilize all of the poetic resources of the language.[28] Yasuda's theory also includes the concept of a "haiku moment" based in personal experience, and provides the motive for writing a haiku (' an aesthetic moment' of a timeless feeling of enlightened harmony as the poet's nature and the environment are unified'[29]). This notion of the haiku moment has resonated with haiku writers in English, even though the notion is not widely promoted in Japanese haiku.[note 1]


Main article: Harold G. Henderson

In 1958, An Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets from Bashô to Shiki by Harold G. Henderson was published by Doubleday Anchor Books. This book was a revision of Henderson's earlier book titled The Bamboo Broom (Houghton Mifflin, 1934). After World War II, Henderson and Blyth worked for the American Occupation in Japan and for the Imperial Household, respectively, and their shared appreciation of haiku helped form a bond between the two.

Henderson translated every hokku and haiku into a rhymedtercet (a-ba), whereas the Japanese originals never used rhyme. Unlike Yasuda, however, he recognized that 17 syllables in English are generally longer than the 17 on of a traditional Japanese haiku. Because the normal modes of English poetry depend on accentual meter rather than on syllabics, Henderson chose to emphasize the order of events and images in the originals.[31] Nevertheless, many of Henderson's translations were in the five-seven-five pattern.

Haiku in other languages[edit]

Main article: Haiku in languages other than Japanese

In France, haiku was introduced by Paul-Louis Couchoud around 1906.

In the early 20th century, Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore composed haiku in Bengali. He also translated some from Japanese. In Gujarati, Jhinabhai Desai 'Sneharashmi' popularized haiku[32] and remained a popular haiku writer.[33] In February 2008, the World Haiku Festival was held in Bangalore, gathering haijin from all over India and Bangladesh, as well as from Europe and the United States.[34] In South Asia, some other poets also write Haiku from time to time, most notably including the Pakistani poet Omer Tarin, who is also active in the movement for global nuclear disarmament and some of his 'Hiroshima Haiku' have been read at various peace conferences in Japan and the UK.[35] Indian writer in Malayalam language, Ashitha, wrote several Haiku poems which have been published as a book.[36][37] Her poems helped popularise Haiku among the readers of Malayalam literature.[38]

In 1992 Nobel laureate Czesław Miłosz published the volume Haiku in which he translated from English to Polish haiku of Japanese masters and American and Canadian contemporary haiku authors.

The former president of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, is a haijin (俳人, haiku poet) and known as "Haiku Herman." He published a book of haiku in April 2010.[39][40][41]

English-language haiku[edit]

Main article: Haiku in English

Paul-Louis Couchoud's articles on haiku in French were read by early Imagist theoretician F. S. Flint, who passed on Couchoud's ideas to other members of the proto-Imagist Poets' Club such as Ezra Pound. Amy Lowell made a trip to London to meet Pound and find out about haiku. She returned to the United States where she worked to interest others in this "new" form. Haiku subsequently had a considerable influence on Imagists in the 1910s, notably Pound's "In a Station of the Metro" of 1913,[42] but, notwithstanding several efforts by Yone Noguchi to explain "the hokku spirit", there was as yet little understanding of the form and its history.[citation needed]

One of the first advocates of English-language hokku was the Japanese poet Yone Noguchi. In "A Proposal to American Poets," published in the Reader magazine in February 1904, Noguchi gave a brief outline of the hokku and some of his own English efforts, ending with the exhortation, "Pray, you try Japanese Hokku, my American poets!" At about the same time the poet Sadakichi Hartmann was publishing original English-language hokku, as well as other Japanese forms in both English and French.

Spanish-language haiku[edit]

In Spain, several prominent poets experimented with haiku, including Joan Alcover, Antonio Machado, Juan Ramón Jiménez and Luis Cernuda.[43]Federico García Lorca also experimented with and learned conciseness from the form while still a student in 1921.[44] The most persistent, however, was Isaac del Vando, whose La Sombrilla Japonesa (1924) went through several editions.[45] The form was also used in Catalan by the avant-garde writers Josep Maria Junoy (1885–1955) and Joan Salvat-Papasseit, by the latter notably in his sequence Vibracions (1921).[46]

The Mexican poet José Juan Tablada is credited with popularising haiku in his country, reinforced by the publication of two collections composed entirely in that form: Un dia (1919),[47] and El jarro de flores (1922).[48] In the introduction to the latter, Tablada noted that two young Mexicans, Rafael Lozano and Carlos Gutiérrez Cruz, had also begun writing them. They were followed soon after by Carlos Pellicer, Xavier Villaurrutia, and by Jaime Torres Bodet in his collection Biombo (1925).[49] Much later, Octavio Paz included many haiku in Piedras Sueltas (1955).[50]

Elsewhere the Ecuadorian poet and diplomat Jorge Carrera Andrade included haiku among the 31 poems contained in Microgramas (Tokio 1940)[51] and the Argentine Jorge Luis Borges in the collection La cifra (1981).[52]

Related forms[edit]


Main article: Haibun

Haibun is a combination of prose and haiku, often autobiographical or written in the form of a travel journal.


Main article: Haiga

Haiga is a style of Japanese painting based on the aesthetics of haikai, and usually including a haiku. Today, haiga artists combine haiku with paintings, photographs and other art.


The carving of famous haiku on natural stone to make poem monuments known as kuhi (句碑) has been a popular practice for many centuries. The city of Matsuyama has more than two hundred kuhi.

Famous writers[edit]

Pre-Shiki period[edit]

Shiki and later[edit]

See also[edit]



  1. ^Hiraga, Masako K. (1999). "Rough Sea and the Milky Way: 'Blending' in a Haiku Text," in Computation for Metaphors, Analogy, and Agents, ed. Chrystopher L. Nehaniv. Berlin: Springer. p. 27. ISBN .
  2. ^Lanoue, David G. Issa, Cup-of-tea Poems: Selected Haiku of Kobayashi Issa, Asian Humanities
  3. ^Shirane, Haruo (March 2016) [2015]. "Satiric poetry: Kyōshi, Kyōka, and Senryū". In Shirane, Haruo; Suzuki, Tomi; Lurie, David (eds.). The Cambridge History of Japanese Literature. Cambridge University Press. p. 509. doi:10.1017/CHO9781139245869. ISBN .
  4. ^Vásquez Rocca, Adolfo (January 2005). "Lógica paraconsistente, mundos posibles y ficciones narrativas"(PDF). A Parte Rei (in Spanish) (37): 8. Retrieved 28 June 2018.
  5. ^Manley, Elliott. Approaching haiku from the west.
  6. ^Shirane, Haruo (2004). Early Modern Japanese Literature: An Anthology, 1600-1900. Columbia University Press. p. 521. ISBN .
  7. ^Brief Notes on "Kire-ji"Archived 2009-08-27 at the Wayback Machine, Association of Japanese Classical Haiku. Retrieved 2008-10-16.
  8. ^Steven D. Carter. Three Poets at Yuyama. Sogi and Yuyama Sangin Hyakuin, 1491, in Monumenta Nipponica, Vol. 33, No. 3. (Autumn, 1978), p.249
  9. ^Konishi Jin'ichi; Karen Brazell; Lewis Cook, The Art of Renga, in Journal of Japanese Studies, Vol. 2, No. 1. (Autumn, 1975), p.39
  10. ^Sato, Hiroaki. One Hundred Frogs: from renga to haiku to English, Weatherhill 1983, ISBN 0-8348-0176-0
  11. ^1973 definition of haiku on the website of the Haiku Society of America
  12. ^definition of haiku on the website of the Haiku Society of America
  13. ^Higginson, William J. The Haiku Handbook, Kodansha International, 1985, ISBN 4-7700-1430-9, p.9
  14. ^Translated by William J. Higginson in Matsuo Bashō: Frog Haiku (Thirty Translations and One Commentary), including commentary from Robert Aitken's A Zen Wave: Bashô's Haiku and Zen (revised ed., Shoemaker & Hoard, 2003)
  15. ^Works of Basho, Winter on Iga and Basho website.
  16. ^Works of Basho, Summer on Iga and Basho website.
  17. ^"Issa archive". Retrieved 2012-01-06.
  18. ^Higginson, William J. The Haiku Handbook, Kodansha International, 1985, ISBN 4-7700-1430-9, p.20
  19. ^van den Heuvel, 1986, p.357
  20. ^ abHiroaki Sato. One Hundred Frogs, Weatherhill, 1983, ISBN 0-8348-0176-0 p.113
  21. ^Yuasa, Nobuyuki. The Narrow Road to the Deep North and other travel sketches, Penguin 1966, ISBN 0-14-044185-9 p.39
  22. ^Rimer, J. Thomas. A Reader's Guide to Japanese Literature, Kodansha International 1988, ISBN 4-7700-1396-5 pp.69-70
  23. ^Ross, Bruce. Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku, Tuttle Publishing, 1993, ISBN 0-8048-1820-7 p.xv
  24. ^Henderson, Harold G. An Introduction to Haiku: An Anthology of Poems and Poets from Basho to Shiki, Doubleday Anchor Books, 1958, p.163
  25. ^Earl Miner, Japanese Linked Poetry. Princeton University Press, 1980. ISBN 0-691-01368-3 pbk.
  26. ^Haiku in the Netherlands and Flanders by Max Verhart, in the German Haiku Society website
  27. ^Otterspeer, W. Leiden Oriental connections, 1850-1940, Volume 5 of Studies in the history of Leiden University. Brill, 1989, ISBN 9789004090224. p360
  28. ^Yasuda, Kenneth, Introduction 'The Japanese Haiku' Charles Tuttle Co Rutland 1957 ISBN 0804810966
  29. ^Otsuiji(Seiki Osuga) Otsuji Hairon-shu 'Otsuiji's Collected Essays on Haiku Theory' ed.Toyo Yoshida, 5th edn Tokyo, Kaede Shobo 1947
  30. ^Hirai, Masako ed.Now to be! Shiki's Haiku Moments for Us Today' (Ima, ikuru!Shiki no sekai) U-Time Publishing, 2003 ISBN 4860100409[1]
  31. ^Henderson, Harold G. (1958). An introduction to haiku : an anthology of poems and poets from Bashō to Shiki. Anchor Books. pp. viii. ISBN . OCLC 857309735.
  32. ^Article on Sneh Rashmi on website of Gujarati Sahitya Parishad (Gujarati Literary Council). In it, we read: "જાપાની કાવ્યપ્રકાર હાઈકુને ગુજરાતીમાં સુપ્રતિષ્ઠિત કરી તેમણે ઐતિહાસિક પ્રદાન કર્યું છે" ("By pioneering and popularizing the famous form of Japanese poetry called Haiku in Gujarati, he has gained a place in history").
  33. ^Ramanathan S. & Kothari R. (1998). Modern Gujarati Poetry: A Selection. Sahitya Akedami. ISBN 81-260-0294-8, ISBN 978-81-260-0294-8
  34. ^"Special Feature on India — Part One: World Haiku Festival in India. 23-25 February 2008, The Art of Living Ashram, Bangalore, India". World Haiku Review. 6: 1. March 2008.
  35. ^See article by Yasuhiko Shigemoto, on Hiroshima Haiku and Omer Tarin, in The Mainichi daily, Tokyo, Japan, 15 August 1998, p 11
  36. ^T. Pillai, Meena (22 November 2018). "Small is beautiful". The Hindu Newspaper. The Hindu. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  37. ^"അഷിതയുടെ ഹൈക്കുകവിതകള്‍". Mathrubhumi Newspaper. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  38. ^"Author Ashitha, who popularised Haiku in Kerala, passes away". Malayala Manorama Newspaper. 27 March 2019. Retrieved 25 June 2020.
  39. ^"Herman Van Rompuy publishes haiku poems". 16 April 2010.
  40. ^"EU's "Haiku Herman" launches first poetry book". Reuters. April 15, 2010.
  41. ^Charter, David (April 16, 2010). "'Haiku Herman' Van Rompuy: poet, president and fish out of water". Times Online. London.
  42. ^Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years, eds. Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland, and Allan Burns, W.W. Norton & Co, New York, 2013
  43. ^Octavio Paz, La tradición del haikú, Cambridge 1970
  44. ^Leslie Stainton, Lorca a Dream of Life, Bloomsbury 2013, chapter 6
  45. ^La haiku en lengua española
  46. ^Jordi Mas López, Els haikús de Josep Maria Junoy I Joan Salvat-Papasseit Barcelona Free University, 2002
  47. ^Entire collection online
  48. ^Entire collection online
  49. ^Sonja Karsen, Selected poems of Jaime Torres Bodet, Indiana University 1964, p.27
  50. ^Spanish text online; and some translations by Muriel Rukeyser in Selected Poems of Octaviao Paz, Indiana University 1963
  51. ^The Quarterly Conversation, March 2012
  52. ^Pequeños Universos

External links[edit]

Wikisource has several original texts related to: Haiku

NNLM SEA Announces the Healthy Haiku Contest!

Posted byelizabethwaltman on March 17th, 2021Posted in:All Posts

During the month of April, we will be sharing Healthy Haikus created by YOU! In honor of National Poetry Month, NNLM SEA is hosting a Healthy Haiku contest for our members. All participants will be entered into a lottery to receive free registration to the  ALA Annual 2021 or MLA ‘21 virtual conference*!

Use this creative outlet for your pandemic angst, healthy-living tips, ailment woes, or anything at all that is health related. Make it light or make it heavy, funny or serious, but make it!

The Rules

Write a three-line poem, following the syllable pattern 5-7-5. No need to rhyme, just go with the flow!

We ask you to write
On health, pets, COVID-19
Please share your haiku!

Need inspiration for topics? Check out the April National Health Observances, including:

  • National Public Health Week
  • National Minority Health Month
  • Every Kid Healthy Week
  • DNA Day
  • Patient Experience Week
How to Enter
  • Share your haikus now through April 30th on Facebook or Twitter.
  • Make sure your post is “viewable for the public” so we can see your submission.
  • Tag @NNLMSEA onFacebook or Twitter and include #HealthyHaiku.
  • If applicable, tag your library or organization.
  • Individuals can share up to three unique haikus.
  • We’ll reshare your posts so that others can see your creativity!

Don’t want to use your own social media account? E-mail your healthy haiku to Liz Waltman ([email protected]) who will share it on our social media accounts and credit you with your submission.

Have fun and we look forward to reading all the amazing haikus!

*Conference registration is for one person and is non-transferable.

Margherita pizza with the haiku 'I ate the whole thing...Why, oh why, did I eat it? Pandemic comfort.'

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Your Haiku to the Environment

The Entries

A haiku is a form of poetry, started in Japan, which uses 17 syllables arranged in three lines in specific order.

First line, 5 syllables; second line, 7 syllables; third line, 5 syllables.

Remember: 5 – 7 – 5

Together we build
A future for our planet
Loving space for all.
— YouthBuild USA

The earth is dying
Preserve our water sources
There is not much left...
— Lizzie

oh, sweet Mother Earth, teach me...
so empty inside;
oh, sweet Mother Earth, teach me...
the dance of the wind
— Ernesto P. Santiago

Hear desperate lungs
asphyxiate with burnt soot
Hail Mary! Earth dies grey.
— Divya M.

Miami Sea
Miami sea brings
its sound, beauty and riches
love it, keep it.
— Cristi

The Yellow Flowers
The Yellow Flowers
Dress the field in harmony
Thou gloried in spring.
— Cristi Berger

Progress in science
Progress in science
relies on thorough study,
clear thought and teamwork.
— --

Go outside to play
Waters rise to come and stay
So I go inside
— Julian

'Bergs been meltin'---so where' the flood?
Research bucks at stake!
The sky is falling, again!
Sunspots; not my fault.
— --

Haiku Miami
Haiku Miami
Heed the call, earthly presence
The rising seas come
— AB

Climate Change for Someone Old
Grow old in my home
Till out in a box but now
Till I float away
— --

Iridescent skies
Clear blue waves crashing on shores
Protect paradise
— Laura

Intoxicating Vanity
Delusion of one who is
— --

Intoxicating Vanity
Delusion of one who is
— --

it's the air we breathe
pure, clean, fresh, pollution free
let's keep it that way
— S.R.E.

3-Ways to Help
Use less fresh water.
Conserve electricity.
Burn less fossil fuels.
— K.V.W.

Carbonic Acid and Coccolithophores
Carbonic acid
Coccolithophores sink down
Sediment lost
— B.P.

Carbonic Acid
CO2 to sea
Surface high acidity
Inhibit plankton
— B.P.

Sun Power
Costs nothing, clothes and feeds us
What are we missing?
— J.H.

Emilianiya huxleii
Calcite secreting
Carbon dioxide enters
huxleii dissolves
— B.P.

Earth Day 2016
Earth day climate now,
Was it the same as last year?
No...climate change...see!
— K.V.W.

Working as One
Revive our planet
We owe it to our children
Do it together
— A.S.

You were always there
I loved it when you would thrive
But now it's hopeless
— --

Save the Planet
Rising sea levels
Destruction to planet Earth
This is climate change
— L.M.G.

Fragrant flowers bloom,
and the cigarette smoke looms -
I smell both the same.
— B.N.B.

Our Survival
Our planet can't live
If we stay our present course
Humans must decide
— D.K.

Water-Energy-Food Nexus
Climate change affects
Water-energy-food tie.
Uncouple nexus.
— K.V.W.

Water-Energy-Food Nexus
Climate change affects
Water-energy-food tie.
Uncouple nexus.
— K.V.W.

Solid carbon good.
Gas, liquid carbon not good.
Fix carbon solid.
— K.V.W.

Mother Earth
Hear our mother Earth,
Heed her when she begs us to
Care for her wellness
— --

Water property,
Savings spent, but could be lost.
Help from science and all!
— K.V.W.

Seas will force Adaptation
Embrace, Reconceive
— J.A.

Treasure Earth
Earth is in our care -
Vulnerable, beautiful;
Treasure our planet.
— J.R.M.

Sea Level Rising
Paddle to the sea,
but the sea came up to me!
Let's float in the flood.
— M.K.

Climate Hope and Deeds
Reverse climate change?
Sustainability now!
More deeds and less talk.
— K.V.W.

No Environment
No environment
No reason to be alive
No more sunny skies
— M.G.

In all her beauty
Mother Earth asks for nothing
more than renewed life.
— Megan

Climate Policy
Care environment.
No funds, but research still good;
Keep good professor.
— K.V.W.

Anthropocene Age
Anthropocene Age
Sea rise underway, they say
Blind and remorseless
— L.M.B.

What will happen when
Blues and greens turn black and grey
The Earth stops singing
— C.L.M.

Do we rise?
A rise in our seas
we do nothing but wonder
we act or ponder
— L.R.

The Environment's Savior
The enviroment
Needs humanities saving
Animals need help
— D.K.

The fact is true that
Science is never settled;
We must keep learning
— --

Seeing earth's wonder
Focused on the now and then
where is the future
— --

Changing Earth
Diverse planet Earth
Changed fast by same force that will
Ingenue new paths
— J.M.C.

Sunset magical
Over turquoise waters now
Feel the sparkling
— P.E.H.

1 Hour of Ocean with Thomas Newman - Vol.2

sea haiku

  1. Home
  2. Poetry
  3. Haiku
  4. sea haiku

the ocean hugs the beach

caressing the shore gently

as the waves fall back.

the sea pounds the cliffs

thundering up the crescent

whirling in fury.

the tide returns calmed

stroking ravages away

smoothing out the beach.

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Haiku sea

the rough sea —
stretching above Sado Island
the Milky Way

by Matsuo Bashō, 1644-1694

Narrow Road to the Deep NorthNo consideration of sea poetry (my current theme) would be complete without at least one haiku — and this one, by the great Matsuo Bashō is among the most famous. The haiku is from the classic book, The Narrow Road To The Deep North.

Prior ‘Sea’ Poems include:

“The Sea” by Tim Jones

“Dover Beach” (Excerpt) by Matthew Arnold

“Breathing You In” by David Gregory

“We are more than half water” by Helen Rickerby

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Part 1 by Samuel Taylor Coleridge

“The Seafarer” Excerpt from the Anglo Saxon poem (Anonymous)

Two Short Poems by Bernadette Hall

“The woman who swims with jellyfish” by Janice Freegard


1 Hour of Ocean with Thomas Newman


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