Poetry Tuesday: Haiku Examination

A few years ago, when studying Japanese, my professor said something that stuck with me, and that I found profound. She said that the key to a good haiku was to use words to describe what you are talking about, without explicitly saying what it is you are writing about. Given that in high school creative writing, the whole exercise of Haiku took maybe 30 minutes, and you were graded well so long as you followed 5-7-5, this bit of information struck a chord with me. Instead of  “Winter is so very cold”, which seems a little simplistic, you can instead create a painting with the words “breath frosts before me”. Of course, this is a little bit more complicated when working in Japanese when you have just grasped the language, without grasping word play and idioms. In that respect, I’ve been trying to be a little less straight forward with this selection of five haiku.


(The Squirrel)

The watchful sentry,

Vigilantly does his task.

Waving his tail, he chatters.


(The Dandelion)

White crown grow en masse.

The winds come and dethrone them.

New kings soon will grow.


(Shooting Star)

Falling in darkness.

Glittering as a beacon,

Wishes come below.



Wind rushes through blades,

They bow low to acknowledge

Golden fields await.


(Mountain Melt)

Trapped beneath the sun.

Running down the mountainside,

The buds awaken.



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