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Spring haiku Lessons for the Interested - Debbie Guzzi's Blog

About Debbie Guzzi
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Deborah Guzzi writes full time. Her third book, The Hurricane is available through Prolific Press. Her poetry appears in Allegro, Artificium, Shooter, & The Foxglove Journal in the UK, Subterranean Blue, Existere, The Ekphrastic Review, Scarlet Leaf Review & Subterranean Blue Poetry, Canada - Tincture, Australia - mgv2>publishing, France Cha: Asian Review, China - Vine Leaves Literary Journal, Australia - The Scarlet Leaf Review - Greece, Ribbons, pioneertown, Sounding Review, Bacopa Literary Review, The Aurorean, Liquid Imagination, The Tishman Review, Page & Spine & others in the USA. 

Spring haiku Lessons for the Interested

Blog Posted:3/9/2015 4:50:00 PM

So many, many new poets here on Soup, it is wonderful how the community has grown. As I spread my wings, I want all of you to know MY NEST IS HERE. Lately, I have been putting up my published verses for you to read, not because I am bragging, but because I can no longer put any in print here and PUBLISH IT. Anything posted here is considered by most venues [magazines-literary journals etc.] as published. I am trying hard to get paid SOMETHING for my writing! STILL, I so miss sharing with all of you. I also so love to HELP you see what the 21st century market place wants?

I have sent some of the verses posted on Soup as REPRINTS to none paying markets. Many of the ones which were accepted got barely any notice here on Soup, very few comments and I must say, it hurts! I thought they were bad? I guess I'm getting growing pains?

Anyway I will continue to try to help you in blogs and by running contests.

My next contest REQUIRES a haiku. Below is a HAIKU CHECKLIST - by Michael Dylan Welsh - my mentor. It will help you WRITE a haiku. What most of you are writing and labeling haiku - are not haiku. So many of you have not seen this before I do suggest you print it out for your self.




For haiku inspiration, look closely at everything around you in nature, at home, at school, and at work. Write your haiku first, letting yourself be free and creative. Then ask the following questions about your haiku to help you improve them.


1. How long is your haiku? It’s usually good to write in three lines of about 10 to 17 syllables. In English, haiku don’t have to be in the pattern of 5-7-5 syllables—the following questions are much more important.


2. Does your haiku name or suggest one of the seasons—spring, summer, fall, or winter? In Japanese, a kigo or “season word” tells readers when the poem happens, such as saying “tulips” for spring or “snow” for winter. This is one of the most important things to do in haiku.


3. Does your poem make a “leap,” by having two parts? In Japanese, a kireji or “cutting word” usually cuts the poem into two parts (never three). Giving your poem two fragmentary parts is also one of the most important things to do in haiku.


4. Is your haiku about common, everyday events in nature or human life? To help you do this, describe what you experience through your five senses.


5. Does your poem give readers a feeling? It can do this by presenting what caused your feeling rather than the feeling itself. So others can feel what you felt, don’t explain or judge what you describe.


6. Is your poem in the present tense? To make your haiku feel like it’s happening right now, use the present tense.


7. Did you write from your own personal experience? When you write other kinds of poetry, you can make things up, but try not to do that with haiku. Memories are okay, though.


8. How did you capitalize or punctuate your poem? Haiku are usually not sentences (they’re usually fragments), so they don’t need to start with a capital, or end with a period.


9. Does your haiku avoid a title and rhyme? Haiku are not like other poems, which may have these things. Haiku don’t have titles and rarely rhyme.


10. What can you do with your haiku? Can you illustrate them, collect them in a notebook, or display them? You could write haiku in your journal every day, enter them in a contest, publish them, or share them at a poetry reading or online.


With practice, you won’t need to ask yourself these questions about your haiku. Japanese haiku master Basho said to “learn the rules and then forget them.” What I believe he meant was that it’s good to internalize the rules (or targets, as I like to call them) so thoroughly that you no longer have to think about them, the way a chess grandmaster no longer thinks of making bad moves. Have fun with your haiku and enjoy noticing life more closely through your five senses!


Please WRITE a haiku in the comment box and I will help you learn to write traditional haiku. Use the photograph above as inspiration.







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Date: 3/12/2015 4:03:00 PM
I'm happy to help anyone who asks, though I don't think I have it 100% of the time yet. Haiku writing takes lots of practice.
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Date: 3/12/2015 7:48:00 AM
OK now Rhonda help the other because so far I don't have 1 haiku in my haiku contest - GO HELP!
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Date: 3/12/2015 5:26:00 AM
Last one, I think: bright-colored eggs/ dot a grassy field/ children run
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Date: 3/12/2015 5:13:00 AM
The below haiku are the result of insomnia, Debbie. :)
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Date: 3/12/2015 5:11:00 AM
sparrows dart/ from budding branches/ empty birdbath
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:47:00 AM
By jove I think you've got it!
Date: 3/12/2015 5:09:00 AM
steady raindrops / open rose petals/ garden gate swings
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:47:00 AM
spot on
Date: 3/12/2015 4:57:00 AM
footbridge creaks/ over smudged glass/ sky of trees
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 3/12/2015 3:56:00 PM
footbridge creaks/ over silent reflection/ sky of trees
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:47:00 AM
this one does not work - the assertion that the scene looks likes its appearing through smudged glass is SUBJECTIVE
Date: 3/12/2015 4:53:00 AM
koi hide/ from bottom of murky pond/ flecks of gold
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Rhonda Johnson-Saunders
Date: 3/12/2015 3:59:00 PM
koi hide/ at bottom of murky pond/ gold clouds hover
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:44:00 AM
now this has a weak line 3 - because you are showing the same thing 2 ways
Date: 3/12/2015 4:46:00 AM
vegetable garden sprouts/ in rows of lettuce leaves/ two rabbit ears
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:43:00 AM
you go gal!
Date: 3/12/2015 4:40:00 AM
bougainvillea blooms/amidst sharp thorns/ silent wings
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:43:00 AM
YUP!!!!!! YES!!! Huzzah! just for now put the cut marker after the cutting word [thorns:]
Date: 3/11/2015 2:48:00 PM
Keith this is more haiku-like [fish may come up to taste sweet reflection-shadows hugging] but don't write about what you think may happen- write about what's happening at that moment [fish leap/to catch the mayfly: moving shadows startle]
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/12/2015 7:42:00 AM
Keith, :) the fish ate the mayfly
Date: 3/10/2015 12:16:00 PM
Olive- said [maple-tree blossoms-- share silhouettes during summer the forests' lifeguards] no need to say TREE refer to Becca's comment [maple blossoms/ share the forest's silhouettes: arched bridge] must at least be plausibly real SO if the tree is in bloom it's SPRING so NO LIFEGUARD either
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Date: 3/10/2015 9:43:00 AM
still water is painted in colored reflection flowering trees share bright blooms with spring subtle arc in the bridge stays silent in its crossing
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Frederic Parker
Date: 3/10/2015 12:06:00 PM
still water painted flowering trees share their blooms bridge crossing silent
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Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/10/2015 10:09:00 AM
17 syllables or less ;) short long short try to condense it Fred
Date: 3/10/2015 9:02:00 AM
a bit mininalist, but give me your opinion. (l. 1)spirals (l. 2) chameleon's mantle (l. 3) fiddlehead ferns ***This one speaks to the fact that plants were created before animals in the whole scheme of things
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Reason A. Poteet
Date: 3/10/2015 5:48:00 PM
I was awed by your reply with which I agree wholeheartedly, I've not heard any percentages but I get that sense especially as I read at AHA. Scenses, is that a word combining scene with sense? I rather like it scene, imagery and senses, how it is perceived.
Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/10/2015 10:13:00 AM
80% or more of a haiku is meant to be in the readers mind not the writers words-the goal is to bring the reader with the writer to a sense of AWE- awe at a glimpse of higher powers scheme in providing us with scenses
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Reason A. Poteet
Date: 3/10/2015 9:38:00 AM
thanks, Olive. I'm honored at the read and remarks. Minimalist is the "in -thing" at AHA and Don Baird. I guess I really wanted to hear your opinion(s) on that genre of haiku which I think is vague; it does leave the reader some option on interpretation.
Guillermo - Fraser Avatar
Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser
Date: 3/10/2015 9:21:00 AM
maybe this: maple-tree blossoms-- share silhouttes during summer the forests' lifeguards
Date: 3/10/2015 6:58:00 AM
Olive's haiku-do NOT go over 17 syllables my Olive- [the trees newly green/ shimmers red on sunshine's glare/tonic world paints it's art] STAY as simple as porridge-[green trees shimmer/next to the red maple: petals on water] now what I did is NOT GOOD it is 2 parts - it shows you spring - Olive what you have written is more free verse like - try again use only 1 subject in the 2 part line & 1 verb NO adverbs Because an adverb TELLS
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Date: 3/10/2015 6:49:00 AM
keith-first-:) yes people maybe in a haiku since they are part of nature - the focus still should stay on the action of nature-a BIG different between haiku & senryu is haiku MUST have 2 parts & ONLY 2 parts- senryu has no CUT 'leap' kireji (3) above
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Date: 3/10/2015 3:44:00 AM
:) being one of those whom you helped, I am forever grateful Debbie.. :) Your contests I admit helped me in many ways to improve my writings.. from forms, to poetical devices, to even discipline my not needed words at times.. :) I sure am not like how I am now with regards to writing if not because of you, among other sponsors. :) Your poems are wow Debbie, I've read some of them and truly am amazed with the vocabulary, imagery and it's appeal to the senses to the feelings it aroused.. :)! I've tried to pass my entry, and I hope it passed.. :D! well, my first tries in haiku was drawn from the spring haiku contest you sponsored last year.. :)! thanks much!
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Guzzi Avatar
Debbie Guzzi
Date: 3/10/2015 7:01:00 AM
Do not forget SOUND & SCENT can come in from any direction
Guillermo - Fraser Avatar
Olive Eloisa Guillermo - Fraser
Date: 3/10/2015 4:12:00 AM
am not sure of the one above, here what I formed: the trees newly green/shimmers red on sunshine's glare/tonic world paints it's art.. :O am not sure?! hope it's okei
Date: 3/9/2015 10:06:00 PM
welcome Becca thanks for the joy of the interaction - go on try to write a haiku here & I will help you!
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A Feed of Chips Narrativefunny
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Harlem Blues Free verseblack-african amerchildre
Summers Everlasting Free versenostalgia
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End of Days Rhymeinspirational,lifeme,war,
Past-Life Nightmare Narrativeautumn,mystery,
I Dream of You (To Jew) Free verseimagination,lovenight,swe
Jellyfish Back Strophe Imagismallegory,nature,on writin
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Loneliness Rhymeintrospection,life
Remission (In Memory of William Watt). Elegybrother,death,nostalgiawo
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Heritage Quatrainadventure,cowboy-western,
Summer Matinee Narrativebrother,me,
The Moon and I I do not know?hope,life,love,nature,pea
Seeking, Searching Free verseimaginationlove,universe,
Before Spring Came Narrativeadventure,animals,childho
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Words From the Oracle Layallegory,philosophy
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This Night Sonnet 
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Figure Fusion Verseart,sports
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Poem For a Sensuous Poet Free versefantasy,on writing and wo
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He Says/ She Says Narrativelife
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Searching For Michelangelo Free verseart,hope,life,people,imag
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Dreams Coupletimagination
I Exist Pantoumintrospectionlife,me,
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Magnolia Song Free verselove,romance,
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Jack Lyricintrospectionlife,
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Book: Shattered Sighs