Let's try writing haiku! 俳句を書いてみよう!

What is one thing japan is famous for? Its poetry. Its haiku, mainly. Here in the west, we see it as the “thing with a 5-7-5 metre”, but did you know it’s way more complex than that?

My thought is, I don’t currently have the ability to read most haiku, and I expect I’m by far not the only one here. But if we can’t read the masters’ works, we can try to write some! It probably won’t be good, but it’ll be a great way to:

  1. Practice written japanese
  2. Discover new words
  3. Discover new ways to use words and the japanese language
  4. Stop being ashamed because we’re all bad here

For those who don’t want to read the article linked above, here are the rules:

Rules of a haiku
  1. The poem is separated in groups of 5, 7 and 5 morae. A mora is essentially the number of kana in a word that are not small ゃ, ゅ or ょ. (っ counts as a mora). For example, じょうだん is 4 morae: じょ, う, だ and ん.
  2. The poem is cut into two parts by a cutting word, or 切れ字(きれじ). It’s a mostly meaningless word that ends one of the parts to cut the poem into two “concepts” that the reader must link. Here is a list of 切れ字.
  3. The poem describes a moment in a specific season, and “signals” what season it belongs to by using a specific “clichéd” word: a 季語(きご). Here is a list of 季語.

In english, we write haiku on 3 lines. In japanese, haiku tend to be written on a single one.

That might sound like a lot and indeed it is, but remember your first haiku probably won’t be very good, and that the masters regularly broke these rules, so focus on having fun!

And now, I’ll start by sharing my first haiku, written about two hours ago, so that no one is ashamed of theirs:

My own haiku

黒霞くろがすみのおにおいや着弾ちゃくだん

My translation:

Ah, the stench
of the dark mist!
Is it a fallen bomb?

(Note: 霞 is the 季語, it belongs to spring. や is the 切れ字.)

So, why don’t you write yours and share it here?

5 Likes

I’m probably breaking some rules both of haiku and Japanese in general :sweat_smile:
but I love haiku so I wanted to have a go!

昨日雪今日雨になる春だかな

My translation

Yesterdays snow
Became rain today
It’s spring? I wonder

Note: 春 is the 季語, unsurprisingly it belongs to spring! かな is the 切れ字.

2 Likes

鳴きながら夜空を通る鶴来る

3 Likes

夜桜や飛ぶことがない不如帰
:rofl: I just wanted to use hototogisu

2 Likes

I love haiku. I’m not sure I’m ready to write them in Japanese, but until I am, I’ll use all of yours for reading practice!

3 Likes

イチゴ好きと言う女が顔をした

2 Likes

雀鳴く青空見たらフン撥ねり

1 Like

俳句は嫌
本当に嫌
いつも嫌

夜を見る星が見えない雲海か