The Art of Haiku
The poetry form of Haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, directness of expression and universal truth.
Haiku is a form of poetry that first originated in Japan and Eastern Asia. Haiku is known as the shortest poem in the world and emphasizes the morals of Zen philosophy and being in the moment. In Japanese culture, haiku structure is measured in sounds of “breath” as opposed to the syllables we know in the English language. Throughout the world today, haiku contains 17 syllables in 3 lines. Each line contains a certain number of syllables where the composer can express what they see, feel, want, and desire. Structures and subjects of haiku vary depending on what you are trying to convey and what style you want to incorporate into your composition.
Here is the common structure of a haiku poem:
| 5 syllables |
| 7 syllables |
| 5 syllables |
Yin and Yang Balance.
To find your true other half
makes this life worth it.
~ from ‘Love Haiku’
These poems contain a dominant impression to invoke emotional clearing and empathy to connect the reader and poet. Haiku have the ability to appeal to the five senses and allow the reader and writer to be in the moment. Haiku are used to convey an experience or feeling to capture a singular moment of clarity within the life of the individual. They link such concepts of the human condition, philosophy, and experience to the seasons and nature, aiming to find balance and homeostasis with all forms of life, love, and being. One of the most important things is to focus on the experience you are trying to convey. Haiku is a very adaptive form of poetry that is used as a creative form of expression. Haiku are used to adapt to reality and provide catharsis, or emotional clearing and heart opening, to all that read and write it. One of the things that we gain from reading haiku–or any form poetry–is a recognition of the universality of human experience. This in itself has emotional, physical, and spiritual healing properties. This self recognition and realization enables us to accept our common humanity – one of the steps on the road to transcendence and spiritual awakening.
The art of writing haiku is an expression of egolessness in which the poet turns to outward expression to fully experience and capture the essence of being in a particular moment, at a particular place, at that point in time.
Historical and early haiku are often used to tell stories and influences of the natural world. In this way, haiku contained a strict subject matter to an objective description of nature suggestive to one of the seasons, evoking a definite, though unstated, emotional response from both the composer and reciter. There are many transformations of haiku from other forms of poetry and prose such as hokku, haikai, haibun, tanka and renga. Forms and structures have be redefined over time, across many countries and poets providing their own interpretation of the art. One of the most famous Japanese Haiku Poets, Matsuo Bashō, is known for his many haiku compositions that focused on the elevation of consciousness and the universal understanding of expression through the simplest of words. He transformed the understanding of haiku composition to encompass all aspects of life, not just the natural surroundings. Other famous haiku composers are Kobayahsi Issa, Yosa Buson, Kato Shuson, Murakami Kijo, and Natsume Soseki.
A monk sips morning tea,
the chrysanthemum’s flowering.
If we are busy worrying about problems or thinking about tomorrow, we might not take the time to even notice the things that are happening now.
Try and write haiku
Its not very hard to do
All you need is sight
~ Olivia Tatara
Look for in: Haiku Poetry, What is Haiku, Haiku Poems, Awakened Haiku, Love Haiku
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