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English Haiku

30 June 2010

Our eighth prompt on We Write Poems was to try our hand at English haiku. Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry. Generally they are three-line poems with the first line being five syllables, the second seven, and the third five, but there are many variations on the traditional haiku. The English haiku follows the same principle but the syllables per line are six, eight, six. The even number of syllables seems to suit the English language better.

The last time I wrote haiku I was twelve and it was about a rainbow. This time the results aren’t as colourful, but they’re not much better, either. Haiku usually have a turning point in them, a surprise ending, that makes them so powerful in their brevity. Mine don’t have that turning point. They are more like little moments and observations. But I still had fun doing them and trying to fit a whole moment into so few words.

Here are a few of my English haiku:

Saxophone and guitar
weave between tables, asking for
money, listeners and sex.

Will you teach me to play
your guitar? I’ll play you a song
I wrote with you in mind.

Someday you’ll wonder how
you ever lived so long without
tasting rhubarb custard.

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 30 June 2010 16:58


  2. 30 June 2010 19:17

    I like your haiku and know I would LOVE rhubarb custard.

  3. 1 July 2010 01:19

    I’m not a big fan of rhubarb, but I’m intrigued enough to try rhubarb custard.

    I would have to say my first haiku is my favorite out of the three. And you are right — all are moments captured beautifully in just a few words.


  4. 1 July 2010 03:21

    the sax is definitely sexy… must be the music… the haiku has a power that cannot be denied… regardless of the nature of it’s being… i like where these three go smilin….

  5. 1 July 2010 10:19

    Rhubarb custard! Love it! Folks can be funny about that, though. Well done haikus.

  6. 1 July 2010 20:56

    The last one is definitely “English”! And rhubarb and custard make a fine dessert!

  7. 4 August 2010 11:05

    Interesting haiku.

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