Haiku Poetry Competition

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Have you ever heard of haiku (pronounced high-koo)? It’s a type of Japanese poem that only has three lines. Its format is:

Line 1: Five syllables

Line 2: Seven syllables

Line 3: Five syllables

Now, you might be thinking, “What is a syllable?”

Well, a syllable is a single sound within a word.

For example, the word “cat” has one syllable because we say it all at once. On the other hand, the elephant has three syllables because we say it in three parts: el-e-phant.

Haiku poems originated in Japan, but now people from all over the world read, write, and enjoy them in different languages. And you know the best thing about haikus? They don’t usually rhyme!

So, how do we write a haiku?

Haikus usually focus on nature. So, you can take a walk in a park, just observe your surroundings, and find a special moment that inspires you. 

Everything you see around you can be an inspiration! Don’t forget to describe each moment using sensory words. 

But if you’re not surrounded by nature, don’t fret! You can still look at photographs or videos to get inspired. 

Just make sure to count the syllables to make sure they fit the 5-7-5 pattern. 

If you’re still confused, you can also read haiku examples to help you understand how to write it shown below.

“A Poppy Blooms” by Katsushika Hokusai

Note: This example was translated from Japanese, so it does not have the exact 5-7-5 pattern, but the structure, meaning, and style is similar.

I write, erase, rewrite

Erase again, and then

A poppy blooms.

“In the Moonlight” by Yosa Buson

Note: This famous haiku is also a translation, so the syllable counts are not strict 5-7-5.

In pale moonlight

the wisteria’s scent

comes from far away.

“JANUARY” by Paul Holmes

Delightful display

Snowdrops bow their pure white heads

To the sun’s glory.

I also wrote an example:

“Solitude” by Caryl (post author)

Gentle ocean waves,

touches my tired, weary soul,

Oh, tranquility.

Want to give it a try? To make it more exciting, we’re having a haiku contest! Share your best haiku with us and show off your creativity. 

The winning submissions will get 500 bonus points if your haiku is selected! The last day you can submit for this contest is May 17th, 2024. Good luck!

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