How to Write a Haiku Poem

If you are planning to learn writing Japanese haiku poetry, then you should know that it comes alive when there is strict adherence to the number of syllables in each line. The haiku poetry only includes three lines, usually about nature, and can be written by using nouns and descriptive adjectives. The process of writing haiku is straightforward. You can make a haiku as simple or complex as you desire and write it on virtually any subject.


  • 1

    Think about the subject for a haiku.

    Continue brainstorming until you have a group of ideas, writing on which is comfortable for you.

    Examples of such ideas include seasons, forest, beach, sky, moon, sunshine, grass, animals, wind, trees, ocean and mountains.

  • 2

    Choose a subject and begin writing nouns, adjectives and verbs that fit the subject matter. For example, if you choose "beach" as your haiku subject, you might use words such as sand, waves, foam, castles, crabs, blue, gritty, hot, bright, fun, play, sunny, crashing, steaming, running and swimming.

  • 3

    Begin constructing the three lines of the haiku, remembering that the first line must have five syllables, the second line must have seven and the third line five for a total of 17 syllables in the entire poem.

    Many haikus include the use of a season word - one word in your haiku that indicates the time of year. Think about using a cutting word or a hyphen division between the second and third line.

    For example, a haiku about the beach might be: "Waves crash midday sun / Blue power with white foam crests -- / Sand castle no more."

  • 4

    Edit the haiku for clarity and to make the syllables fit the requirements. Remove extraneous words such as articles ("the" or "a") and experiment with different adjectives to give your haiku the sound you want.

  • 5

    Try to keep your haiku simple, avoiding rhyme, metaphors (using two nouns to contrast or compare) and similes (comparing or contrasting with the use of the words "like" or "as").

  • 6

    Read your haiku aloud, counting the syllables of each line to make sure you like the way it sounds and that it meets the syllable requirements.

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