Friday, November 23, 2007

Haiku Blogging

I thought this was an interesting article:

What is Haiku Blogging?
Think about the haiku — the Japanese form of poetry of three lines and 14 (sic) syllables. It’s an extremely limited form of poetry, and yet it can be among the most powerful. That’s because the haiku poet is forced to choose only the most essential words to the concept or image he’s trying to convey. Only those words that will do the most for his purpose. The essential words.

So let’s apply that concept to blogging: limit what you do, to force yourself to make choices, and to choose only the essential. Set limits for everything you do.

Here's a haiku blog post:

Bird feeder swinging --
those god-damn squirrels, Dean!
BB gun targets.



ka said...

An artist I know uses haiku in her journal after she sketches something to remember that moment.

I like the idea of haiku blogging! I may have to try it!

Michael Dylan Welch said...

A fun idea, but here's something to think about: Usuaully haiku is referred to as having 17 syllables, not 14, but in any event, that applies to Japanese, where they count sounds (mora, in linguistic terms), NOT syllables. As an example of the difference, the word "haiku" is three sounds in Japanese, but two syllables in English. Believing that haiku in English should have 17 syllables is a widespread misunderstanding, to the detriment of other factors that are usually considered more important -- kigo (season word), kireji (cutting word that usually divides the poem into two juxtaposed parts), and objective imagery (no concepts, judgments, conclusions, or analysis). The vast bulk of literary haiku published in English is actually NOT in the 5-7-5 pattern.

My essay "Becoming a Haiku Poet" covers general haiku goals and misunderstandings in more detail, if it might be helpful. It's online at The Haiku Society of America site ( is also a good resource, with examples from its past contests at To see one fine haiku a day, I also recommend

Michael Dylan Welch