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Haiku is a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences and usually use simple words and grammar. The most common of Haiku is three short lines. A first line of five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. Haiku does not rhyme.

A Haiku must “paint” a mental image in the reader’s mind. This is the challenge of Haiku – to put the poem’s meaning and imagery in the reader’s mind in ONLY 17 syllables over just three (3) lines of poetry! Below are two examples of Haiku poetry by famous poets.  Both of these poems suggest a seasonal theme or contain a seasonal word, which is common and preferred in the traditional writing of Haiku.

An old silent pond..
A frog jumps into the pond
splash! Silence again

by Matsuo by Basho (1644-1694)

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

by Natsume Soseki (1275-1351)

Now for my challenge…

Write for me a ‘ku
beginning just this way;
Once upon a time

Think you can tell me a story in Haiku, using only the remaining twelve (12) syllables? Give me your best shot! You have until Monday.
I will pick 3 faves and make you a quoto!
Have fun!

Magic in the Backyard™
©Kellie Elmore

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