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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Haiku Guides

I lifted this haiku guide from

Haiku without rules is like a tennis match without a ball!

1. Haiku is a three-line nature-orientated poem expressing poet’s direct experience of something, description of background/surroundings, and an original and deep thought based on it.
2. The form of 5-7-5 can be used but is not essential.
3. No title should be given to a haiku.
4. Make sure your haiku consists of two distinctive parts, and not of one or three!
5. Time: use verbs only in the present or past continuous tenses.
6. Avoid end rhyme.
7. Avoid using capital letters and punctuation marks, unless you really have to.
8. Avoid turning your haiku into an aphorism or an epigram.
9. Avoid direct metaphors.
10. Use only common language.

Further Guidelines

1. Remove any words you can remove without losing the sense of the haiku.
2. Try not to use adverbs, pronouns. Avoid using more than two adjectives with the same noun
3. Avoid using too many ‘ing’ words (usually no more than two!)
4. Vary the articles (‘a’ and ‘the’). Don’t use too many of them (two is usually quite enough).
5. Avoid using conditional clauses, e.g. subjunctive mood.
6. Write about what you see, avoid writing hearsay haiku.
7. If you want to write a real haiku, use a kigo.
8. ‘Choose each word very carefully. Use words that clearly express what you feel’ – JW Hackett
9. ‘Never use obscure allusions: real haiku are intuitive, not abstract or intellectual’– JW Hackett
10. ‘Lifefulness, not beauty, is the real quality of haiku’ – JW Hackett

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