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The Haiku Poem

by Alejandro Martinez

The first introduction many people have to haikus are a school assignment. You are told to write three lines and that it is poetry. That is all you have and you get going. Haikus are simple enough for a 3rd grader to do successfully. All of the following are technically haikus:

I arrived to school
My teacher told me to write
This is my poem

This, technically is a haiku albeit a very simplistic haiku it follows the rules of haikus. A haiku is 3 lines long. This first line has 5 syllables, the second line has 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables. So yes, the above does fit this categorization but it is not so poetic. A far better haiku is as follows:

The wind blows lightly
As I look across the sea
I see no limits

This has a feeling of a haiku because it has more meaning than the usual few sentences of everyday conversation. This is poetry. The person who goes to read a haiku poem will expect to hear something meaningful. That is the point of a haiku, and the reason the Japanese made haikus.

A haiku normally will provide a visual picture in the mind. A carefully crafted haiku will bring you imagery which exactly matches what the author was thinking of. For example:

The baby looks up
He lifts his hand to the moon
"I'll reach it later"

If you got an image of a baby trying to reach for the moon, not making it and then giving up. Then this haiku communicated what it was supposed to. You could also have gotten the idea that it was not so important to the baby. Or even that babies are often distracted and will normally give up on a goal that they set.

At the end of the story, a haiku is really has the same purpose of any art, which is to express yourself. See if you can see what I am trying to express in the following haikus. Then you can try and make some for yourself. It can be easy as long as you follow the rules about them.

All kinds of people
Fill the lands and the oceans
They are my brothers

There is lots of death

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