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Poetry Forms Beginning with 'H'

Poetry forms beginning with the letter 'h'.

Poetry Forms by Letter

(805) Haibun

A haibun is a type of poem that operates on a prosimetric structure. It combines the forms of prose and haiku to create an artistically-challenging puzzle. However, these poems can cover a broad range of topics and expressions, including anything from short stories to personal journals and scholarly essays.

Haibun poems originate in Japan, and were invented in the 17th century by famous poet Matsuo Basho. He thought to combine popular Chinese prose elements with Japanese haiku styles for an educational and creative outcome.

The rules for its construction are simple yet unique. Each haibun must have a title, followed by a prose-like paragraph. Afterward, a simple poetic haiku adds more descriptive and creative elements to the scene. While the two distinct elements of the haibun may seem vastly different at first, the reader will come to learn that they are in fact interwoven and forever connected. One paragraph and one poem can build a haibun poem. 


The Importance of Goldfish
Michael McClintock

In our eyes and our sleep and our answers to everything and the way we ate our food and left our personal odors and debris around the house, like strands or clippings of hair, or a fingernail, or wadded tissue with spit, and seldom coordinated our clothes or speech or opinions when we went out or had people over, preferring different books by different authors about different things, and the feelings we kept to ourselves, harboring them like warts or bleeding punctures, until now, we grew apart and we knew it, had known it for over four years---since the day you lost the gold fish down the toilet and never said you were sorry. You even laughed about it.

"only temporary" ---
about our separation
we agree to lie

(38281) Haiku

HAIKU (plural: haiku, from archaic Japanese): The term haiku is a fairly late addition to Japanese poetry. The poet Shiki coined the term in the nineteenth century from a longer, more traditional phrase, haikai renga no hokku ("the introductory lines of light linked verse"). To understand the haiku's history as a genre, peruse the vocabulary entries for its predecessors, the hokku and the haikai renga or renku.

The haiku follows several conventions:

  1. The traditional Japanese haiku consists of three lines. The first line contains five syllables, the second line contains seven, and the last line five. In Japanese, the syllables are further restricted in that each syllable must have three sound units (sound-components formed of a consonant, a vowel, and another consonant). The three unit-rule is usually ignored in English haiku since English syllables vary in size much more than in Japanese. Furthermore, in English translation, this 5/7/5 syllable count is occasionally modified to three lines containing 6/7/6 syllables respectively, since English is not as "compact" as Japanese.
  2. The traditional subject-matter is a Zen description of a location, natural phenomena, wildlife, or a common everyday occurrence. Insects and seasonal activities are particularly popular topics. If the subject-matter is something besides a scene from nature, or if it employs puns, elaborate symbols, or other forms of "cleverness," the poem is technically a senryu rather than a haiku. The point was that the imagery presents a "Zen snapshot" of the universe, setting aside logic and thought for a flash of intuitive insight. The haiku seeks to capture the qualities of experiencing the natural world uncluttered by "ideas." Often editors will talk about "the haiku moment"--that split second when we first experience something but before we begin to think about it. (In many ways, this idea might be contrasted usefully with the lyric moment in the English tradition of poetry; see lyric).
  3. The haiku is always set during a particular season or month as indicated by a kigo, or traditional season-word. This brief (and often subtle) reference to a season or an object or activity associated with that time of year establishes the predominant mood of the poem.
  4. It is striking a feature of the haiku that direct discussion of the poem's implications is forbidden, and symbolism or wordplay discouraged in a manner alien to Western poetry. The poet describes her subject in an unusual manner without making explicit commentary or explicit moral judgment. To convey such ideas, the genre often relies upon allusions to earlier haiku or implies a comparison between the natural setting and something else. Simplicity is more valued than "cleverness." Again, if the poet is being clever, using puns or symbols, the poem again is technically a senryu rather than a haiku.
  5. The poet often presents the material under a nom de plume rather than using her own name--especially in older haiku.
  6. Additionally, the haiku traditionally employ "the technique of cutting"--i.e., a division in thought between the earlier and later portions of the poem. (It is comparable to the volta of a sonnet). These two divisions must be able to stand independently from the other section, but each one must also enrich the reader's understanding of the other section. In English translation, this division is often indicated through punctuation marks such as a dash, colon, semicolon, or ellipsis.

An example of classic hokku by Bashô:

an old pond—
the sound of a frog jumping
into water

Another Bashô classic:

the first cold shower;
even the monkey seems to want
a little coat of straw.


beautiful blackbird

chirruping the sweetest songs

morning has broken

Copyright © 

(17) Hamd

A Hamd is a type of poem created to praise Allah. It is an Arabic word used to refer to praise of God alone. Hamd was derived from the Quran, and it is the root word for AlhamdAllah which usually means praise to Allah. These types of poems are written in Persian, Arabic, Punjabi, Urdu or Turkish. They are also recited all over the Muslim world.

Hamd poems are included in the five pillars of Islam. The five pillars are the; Shamada, Salat, Zakat, Fasting {Ramadan} and the Hajj. Muslims prepare Hamd poems to thank God for the blessings of being born as Muslims. They also thank Him for the blessings of health and wealth. In the holy month of Ramadan, Muslims have to fast from sunrise to sunset so that they can remember how blessed they are to have food.

In all aspects, Hamd poems are used by either actions or words. When the Muslims are thanking God for his blessings, they can recite the word “Hamd” or include it in their prayers. These songs are also sung to keep Allah in mind and to stay connected to Him. 


(554) Heroic Couplets

A heroic couplet is a type of poem that is written in iambic pentameter, which is a line with ten syllables and contains two rhyming lines. Heroic couplet poetry is more often written as a way of expressing a harrowing tale of adventure in a strong and impacting way. Heroic couplets are one of the favored forms of reciting tales and powerful meanings with its two rhyming lines. The iambic pentameter gives a beautiful flow and the expression behind the words hold more energy and passion. They became a form of poetry to express the dramatic and fantastic world and lives of people, fictitious or real.

The creator of heroic couplets is unknown, but the first widely recognized use was by a man named Geoffrey Chaucer of the 14th century. Since then, more poets have taken pen to paper choosing heroic couplets as their way to express the grandeur that they write about. 


A frequently-cited example illustrating the use of heroic couplets is this passage from Cooper's Hill by John Denham, part of his description of the Thames:

O could I flow like thee, and make thy stream
My great example, as it is my theme!
Though deep, yet clear, though gentle, yet not dull,
Strong without rage, without o'erflowing full.

(37) Hybronnet

A Hybronnet poem is a type of poetry that attributes its origin to the Sonnet poem and the name of which is borrowed from Hybrid and Sonnet. 

The Sonnet poem is a form where the idea or the thought is expressed in fourteen lines where every line has a length composed of ten syllables. Just like the Sonnet; a Hybronnet poem is composed of octosyllabics lines. Additionally, the lines must be fourteen in total. 

The Hybronnet poem does not necessarily need to be iambic but can be of the poet desires to make it so. Having such a structure, the Hybronnet gives room for the design of rhyme scheme that is variable. The rhyme scheme ranges from a couplet rhyme scheme, ABABCDCDEFEFGG, or other forms of rhyme schemes the poet may desire to use. At such a point, the poet is given liberty to choose how to structure the rhyme of the Hybronnet poem into a combination of rhymes be it slant, feminine, masculine, etc. or apply it in any design deemed appropriate. 

Whispering Wind Standing amid the forest trees I feel so insignificant. Small and unimportant can be Very humbling among the plants And underbrush that are dwarfed by The regal, deciduous trees. Quiet is defined by the sigh Of the wind breathing through the leaves And serenity thrives beneath This lushest leaf-green canopy. I walk along an ancient path Once tread by aborigines. Then, out of the blue, the soft wind Whispered,” you're home again my friend.”