Examples of Intense and Deeply Meaningful Haiku Poems

Examples of Haiku Poems
Did you know that Haiku, the poetic technique that originated in Japan, follows the same structure till this day? We have successfully adapted it to suit Western structures. Examples can help us understand this form of poetry better.
Haiku originated in 9th century Japan and are popular even today. Its structure has remained unchanged. In Japanese, the haiku poem has three lines. The first and the last line have 5 moras. The second line is of 7 moras. Mora is just like a syllable but not the same. One cannot use moras in English. Traditional Japanese poems contain a 'Kigo' that is, a seasonal word or 'Kireji' that is defined as a 'cutting word'. The Kireji is used at the end of any of the three lines and helps give a definitive ending to the line. A haiku poem in English language consists of the following structure:
  • The poem consists of 3 lines
  • The first and last lines of the poem has 5 syllables
  • The middle line of the poem has 7 syllables
  • The lines of a haiku poem rarely rhyme
In ancient Japan, writing haiku was a popular activity referred to as 'tanka'. Here, a person would write the first three lines in the same 5-7-5 structure. Then, the next person was to add more in the next section using the 7-7 structure, and the chain would continue. Thus, the 'hokku' or the first verse would set the mood for the poem. At times, one could add hundreds of verses to a hokku. The term 'hokku' gave rise to the name 'haiku'. Let us see some interesting examples of haiku poems.

Examples of Haiku

It can be written about anything under the sun. There are many forms of haiku poems, let us see some examples.

Haiku Poems in English

The following haiku examples in English will help you understand how a haiku is written. One noun and a connective phrase with five syllables consists of the traditional Japanese haiku poems.

An old silent pond...
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.

~ Basho

Sick and feverish
Glimpse of cherry blossoms
Still shivering.

~ Ryunosuke Akutagawa

The summer river:
although there is a bridge, my horse
goes through the water.

~ Masaoka Shiki

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.
~ Soseki Natsume

Haiku Poems About Nature

It originated over 300 years ago in Japan. These short poems help capture the moment in brief. In haiku, the human nature is linked to nature. The following haiku examples about nature will help you understand this idea.

Whispering to her--
the spotted fawn
eyes the outstretched water lily.


Sick on a journey-
Over parched fields
Dreams wander on.
~ Basho


You rice-field maidens!
The only things not muddy
Are the songs you sing.
~ Raizan

The butterflies dance
Brilliant colors of rainbows
Rippling like water.


Earth whirls a chorus.
Fluttering fair women talk.
Winter sways gifts.


Haiku Examples for Kids


Warm sun glinting,
thousands
of unexpected pools.

~ Paul Brown


Pausing
halfway up the stair--
white chrysanthemums.

~ Elizabeth Searle Lamb

Willow leaves fallen
clear waters dried up stones
one place and another.

~ Yosa Buson

Rain cleared--
for a while the wild rose's
fragrance

~ Takahama Kyoshi

I want to sleep
Swat the flies
Softly, please.

~ Masaoka Shiki

Funny Haiku Examples


The teacher's drawer
has a frog in it
the class very quiet.

~ Karma Tenzing Wangchuk

Red tricycles trip.
Goofy tinkles blancmanges.
The noses giggle.


You're always typing.
Well, let's see you ignore my
sitting on your hands.


My life is Jello
Sitting and waiting in the bowl
Patiently to gel.


Cherry, apple, rose,
blossoms in countless colors--
each one of them pink.

~ Paul Brown
As you can see, these poems are simple and to the point. They easily explain the idea or moment in 3 simple lines.
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