Haiku Challenge

cropped blossom
Cherry Blossom seems appropriate to the Japanese art of Haiku

Next week on Tuesday 17th April 2018 it is International Haiku Day and the challenge is to send in a haiku poem based on “The Waste Land” by TS Eliot.  Take the words, the themes, or ideas inspired by the poem and create your own within the boundaries of accepted by Haiku Poetry.

Submit your haiku poems on the Get Involved page and they will be included in the blogposts!  Have fun!

The following is a guide to the technique of writing Haiku:

A haiku is a poem of 17 syllables arranged over 3 lines – 

line  one 5 syllables

line two 7 syllables

line three 5 syllables

They are restrained and unemotional, the poet presenting an observation intended to evoke acknowledgement/recognition on the part of the reader.

They do not rhyme, use metaphor or simile. Ideally a haiku can be spoken in one breath.

Traditionally there should be reference to the season in which it is written ( this should be implied rather than declared), reference to the natural world and a sense of the impermanence of things – decay, change, mutability– one line may well reference more than one element- season and impermanence for example.

There should also be a  ‘cutting’ word or phrase that takes the poem in a different direction and influences how the rest of the poem is interpreted – a bit like the turn in a sonnet.

In the twilight rain

these brilliant-hued hibiscus . . .

A lovely sunset.   


An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.


Toward those short trees

We saw a hawk descending

On a day in spring

There are many modern interpretations of the form that do not conform to traditional rules, including strict syllable count (after all Japanese isn’t a syllabic language)

The wind


Rolls a cigarette of air

Paul Eduard

The low yellow

moon above the

Quiet lamplit house

Jack Kerouac

Thanks to Nigel Hutchinson for providing this guide.

Looking forward to seeing your contributions everyone!

11 thoughts on “Haiku Challenge

  1. 2 haikus by Jayne Stanley

    Vast in its smallness
    cold comfort impermanence
    frosting the new garden

    Burial by fire
    Sections that cling and reject
    As thunder plays chess


  2. Haikus by Eve Fleming

    Under the red rock
    shelter and peace – shattered by
    rockets overhead

    The violet hour comes
    uncertain with twin options
    of peace and despair


  3. I’ve had a go at creating my own haiku as a response to The Waste Land!

    That Unreal City

    My Thames is still sweet
    My cruel April helps me see…
    Hyacinths and life



  4. Haiku x 5

    The Spring in my step
    Comes from expensive trainers
    Not the warm weather

    April pink blossom
    Flutters over the sad scene
    Blistered children wail

    Shadow on my heart
    Spring tides awaken the fish
    A child waves goodbye

    Blue sky clouds scudding
    Clock ticks time moves Spring springs
    What will bloom this year?

    Old tree feels the rain
    Fortune in its branches rests
    Rainbow lights the sky


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