Haiku is a well known poetic form usually consisting of three lines. The syllabic count of the lines is 5, 7, 5. Here is a famous example of haiku, written by the poet Basho:

The floating flower (5)
I saw drift back to the branch (7)
Was a butterfly. (5)

Haiku often make mention of nature imagery and usually has some illusion to a season. The form can be thought of as three still frames, placed one on top of the other, to create the effect of capturing a moment. Here's one by me:

Dragonfly patters
Aurora borealis
Marble garden pond

If you want to make a haiku of your own, leave me a comment so I can visit your site and see what you've created, or even leave one instead of a comment. I'm always interested by what people come up with in this deceptively simple form.


Mariana Soffer said...

Very interesting and informative jon, I did not know it at all.

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September 15, 2009 at 1:52 AM
the walking man said...

Stacks tower over land
Emissions unseen in smoke
Green tinged brown; ash

This speaks to nature as well. Human nature and how we have come to harm it. I do like the strict construction of the 5-7-5 format.

September 15, 2009 at 2:17 AM
Jon said...

Thanks for the link. I have browsed through some of content there and found something that interests me for a future project, Graffiti Archaeology. Lots of ideas there!

Walking Man,
Like your take on "nature" here. Interesting spin and strong images in your haiku.
I am less a formalist than I may seem, but I do like to start with the 5-7-5 and then see what happens. There are lots of variations on this standard though. I liked, for example, the renga chain that we did on Blade of Grass a couple months back... like how that form is about call and response.
Thanks for your haiku and for your thoughts, as always.

September 16, 2009 at 2:31 PM
Harlequin said...

this poetic form
simple though seldom easy
strikes a chord within

I like the example and your poem as well... also liked WM's verse. I did one at my blog a few minutes ago...am attempting to stay with the autism camp theme there and so used that landscape as the ground for the Haiku.
thanks for these lovely prompts and ideas...

September 17, 2009 at 11:22 AM
Jon said...


No problem. I'm planning on keeping them coming. Maybe one about lettuce later on!

September 17, 2009 at 2:15 PM
Derliwall said...

Tributaries rush
together at the threshold
of blue ocean waves


September 17, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Thanks for the activity...I did a few on my blog so feel free to come and check them out!

September 17, 2009 at 3:27 PM
Jon said...

This haiku reminds me of some of the other writing on your blog, and about the theme of water imagery running through...

I've just went over there. Thanks for saying hi. And no problem for the writing prompt. I'll have another one up on this site later on.

September 17, 2009 at 5:56 PM