Welcome to Cogito Ergo Scribit

Cogito Ergo Scribit is where I write about writing. I'm a writer with more than a decade of experience, and I'd like to lend my experience to others while I continue to learn myself.

Everything here is copyright Carrie L. Eckles unless otherwise stated.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

How to Write Good Haiku

A lot of people think haiku is the lazy person's poetry -- but they're wrong (and I daresay ignorant). Haiku is an art all its own. It relies on formula, but also style. And it's important to add your own flourishes to really make it your own.

Haiku are composed of 17 moras (syllables, in English). There are five syllables on the first line, seven on the second, and five on the third.

Often times, nature is mentioned in the first line. Here is an example of a traditional haiku by Matsuo Basho:

fuji no kaze ya,
oogi ni nosete,
Edo miyage


The wind of Mt. Fuji,
I've brought my fan!
A gift from Edo

As you can see, wind, a force of nature, is mentioned in the first line. That's a very classic way to begin a haiku. But it can be modernized.

Below, I've written my own haiku. I hope you enjoy it.

The snow falls sweetly,
I wonder why my cold heart beats,
It must be your love

I still use a natural element in the first line, but the tone of my haiku is completely different. What does it say to you? How do you interpret it?

The thing is: I put my own spin on it. I used my own words. You can still write poetry that follows strict formatting and be original at the same time. So, give it a go and see what you turn up with.


Graham Moody said...

Trout sleeps in green pools
That ache with fishermens' feet.
Deep sleep, then the worm.

PrettySiren said...

I love it! It's so expressive and tells a full story -- that's what you really want to see in a good haiku.

Brian, the old man said...

Absolutely love your poem. You know poetry is one of my favorite forms. To me your poem talks about someone who is missing their loved one. The snow represents the cold emptiness of loneliness and what keeps them from giving up on life and what makes their life whole is the love of another. I'm glad you posted this and I will write one and let you know when I post it on Oldman's Poetry Corner. Hope all is well with you. Have a great day.

PrettySiren said...

Brian, I see that you really get where I was coming from with my haiku, and I love your analysis of it!

Definitely let me know when you post one and I'll link it on my page. =)

Rebecca said...

Love teh poem and I have a surprise for you!