April 17th is National Haiku Day!
Haiku poetry originated in Japan in the thirteenth century. In the beginning, haiku were the openings of longer poems called renga, which usually contained one hundred stanzas (a series of lines grouped together, dividing a poem). Renga are composed by two or more poets. Here’s more information from the Encyclopaedia Brittanica about this poetic form.
A few hundred years later, or so, haiku was its own style of poetry. Most of us are familiar with its structure of 5-7-5 syllables, respectively, per line from English class. Traditionally written in the present tense, haiku poems reflect a moment in time often capturing something about nature. This is one by Matsuo Basho:
An old pond!
A frog jumps in—
the sound of water.
Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Issa, and Masaoka Shiki are among the masters of traditional, Japanese haiku.
Through the years, some modern poets have chosen not to follow “the rules.” The heart of haiku still resonates in their works—an evocative snapshot of now that is gone in one breath.
I love writing these poems. My Halloween Haiku is testament to that :-> Sometimes, it’s a challenge to find the words that fit the syllables for your heartbeat of time.
Poets.org was also a helpful resource for this blog. Check it out.
In honor of National Haiku Day, if the muse whispers, compose and post one on Carol Smith Writes FB or Twitter as a comment or reply. According to the United States Copyright Office, the moment you create your work and put it into a tangible form that is perceptible directly or with the aid of a machine or device, it is copyrighted to you.
Here's a new one from me:
Seeking a blossom
Fluttering butterfly wings
Sweet nectar is found
You too can Haiku.