Haiku #1

My English teacher was telling us the other day how the famous Japanese form of poetry, “Haiku”, has long been her coping strategy. During her lecture, she also managed to discuss the basics of Haiku writing and asked each of us to try one out! She said that the beauty of this form won’t be comprehended until tried, after a while, you’ll be obsessed trying to bring out that perfect Haiku! And from experience I can tell, she’s absolutely right!

Here are a few basic guidelines to start writing Haikus:

  • The first line must comprise 5 syllables
  • The second line is to have 7 syllables
  • The third line should again have 5 syllables
  • The Haiku must contain a seasonal marker on the first line
  • The second line should essentially have a paradox

However, Haiku is one of those forms of poetry which has undergone a lot of experimentation and innovation. Several poets, authors, have broken free from the traditional styles and created their personalised style of Haikus. Moreover, the above guidelines weren’t followed by all traditional Haiku writers either.

So based on my teacher’s guidelines, I tried writing my first Haiku, which you’ll find below. Please feel free to correct any of the information posted above as well as give me feedback on my first!

It’s the winter time,
Raging smoke from factories,
And fireplaces.

Time of Cold

Dead leaves now cover the place,

Where their shadows once fell,

A grim ceremony marked,

By echoes of an unseen knell.

A temporal shroud of greyness, 
Thrown over balding heads.

A metallic coldness of doorknobs,
Clear vision which steadily fades.

Air like a hundred needles,
A reptile huddled up beneath some momentary warmth.
Dead trees burn in happy homes,
Stories woven around the red-brick hearth.

All disperse as night falls fast,
A web of frosts glistens on trees,
Black rocks wait for the morning light,
However weak, the sun at last.