According to Jane Hirshfield, in the “Art of Haiku,” a Haiku is a poem composed of 17 syllables or sound bites containing vivid imagery. The traditional Haiku poem should evoke a particular season, although western Haiku writers don’t always follow this proscription.
The original meaning of the Japanese word Haiku, according to Hirshfield, is “Playful verse.” The celebrated Japanese poet, Basho, raised Haiku to new levels of significance by adding a spiritual and emotional dimension.
Basho wasn’t too strict about the form. He advised that you can have an extra syllable or two as long as the poem sounded right. If the sound was off, then a re-write was in order. He also said it was important to see the world with new eyes and to write down the present moment.
Here are three Haikus that I wrote that I would like to share with you.
The monk stumbles from
The Black Mountain Demon’s Cave
To find the world one bright pearl.
The sound of the dragon
Singing in the withered tree
Comes to my ear.
The empty boat returns
From its long Journey abroad
Full of moonlight.