What is a Haiku?

What is a Haiku?

Sophia Boxold, Creative Writing Editor

A haiku is a Japanese poem type that was invented by Matsuo Basho. Haiku poems do not typically rhyme, and are made up of 3 lines and 17 syllables. They include imagery and are arranged in a 5/7/5 syllable line, which means the first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third line has 5 syllables. Traditionally, they are about nature, animals, or seasons, but they don’t always have to be about these things. In a pinch, they can be about anything you want.  Here is an example of a traditional haiku,

The light red blossoms

Gently fall from the small tree

With every light breeze

And now, a non-traditional haiku

I like to make friends

I’ll charm you just by smiling

I’m very social

So, as I said, haiku poems are normally about nature, but not always. Haiku poems can be used for anything from a romantic love haiku to a classroom assignment, or just doing one for fun. They are really fun to write and create, but just because they are short doesn’t mean that they are always simple.