Essential Tips for Writing Haiku



If you want to be a more complete poet, it is important that you should try out different types of poetry. A great example of poetry, is haiku. This type of poetry is one of the oldest in the world, and originated in Japan since the Edo period. A key characteristic of haiku is that it is shorter compared to other poetry forms. It is made up of 17 syllables, and arranged in three lines, with five, seven and five syllables. It also has its own structure, and if you want to learn how to write haiku properly, you should know the best methods.

Here are essential tips on how to write haiku.

1. Choose a good theme

When it comes to writing Haiku, it is important that you choose the right themes. Remember that haiku is meant to have a core concept that you could draw from. The poetry usually evokes natural elements. Some great themes that you could use are the change of the seasons, or the beauty of the sunrise or sunset. The trick is to evoke emotion and imagery with just a few words.


2. Know the history of haiku

When it comes to writing haiku, you should make sure that you know the history of the poetry form. Remember that it is a Japanese type of poetry. It has been used as a poetry form for hundreds of years, and was used by the Japanese nobility, namely the Samurai to convey their feelings on various topics.

They were even so culturally significant, that famous personalities of various eras wrote haiku death poems before they went into battle. The very first instance of haiku was in the seventeenth century, and originated from an early form called Rengu. This earlier poetry form was popular in the thirteenth and fourteenth century. It was far longer and was made up of a very strict and codified set of rules.

The poetry form had a shorter part called Hokku, and was made up of three short phrases made up of five, seven, and five sounds. It is usually considered the precursor to modern Haiku. The main proponent of Haiku was a reformist poet named Matsuo Bashō, and along with other reformist poets of his era. With their ideas, they were able to elevate the Hokku to an art form in the sixteenth century. If you are going to write haiku, you should take the time to do your research, and respect the art form in every way.


3. Learn the elements of a haiku

As you learn how to write haiku, it is imperative that you learn the elements that the poetry form is made up. Remember that haiku has specific parts and you will need to learn how to use them as effectively as possible. The key parts that you should take into account are the On, Kigo, and Kireji. Each of these parts are integral to writing haiku effectively.

On: The On is the sound the that each haiku should contain. Most haiku poets utilize 17 On for most of their poems.

Kigo: The Kigo is the word or phrase that places the poem in a specific season. Remember that haiku is meant to evoke natural elements, and by using a kigo, you’ll be able to tell readers what season you are trying to evoke.

Kireji: The Kireji is known as the cutting word, which should create a pause or break in the rhythm of the poem. It is supposed to create a juxtaposition between two images. While Kireji is not often used for traditional haiku, the contrast between two elements will always be a part of writing haiku.


4. Choose your words wisely

You should remember that haiku is not a very long poetry form. However, this does not mean that your writing should lack impact. The real challenge of writing poetry, is that you will have to compress your words in as few words as possible. This means you will need to choose your words wisely. You must choose words that convey your chosen concepts as efficiently as possible. No word must be wasted.



When it comes to writing Haiku, it is important that you know the right way to do so. You should know the rules on how to write Haiku. With these tips, you’ll be writing Haiku in no time.


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