Haiku Poems About Life

Haiku Poems About Life (A Compilation of Poems)

Traditionally, a haiku is a three-line, non-rhyming poetry written in Japanese. Haiku poems about life have a history that dates back to the ninth century.

Haiku Poems About Life

Haiku Poems About Life

Themes and subjects that are prevalent in haiku are frequently interesting. The most well-known haiku theme is nature, which includes images of various flora, animals, and seasonal changes.

The poem may occasionally contain two opposing images, especially in traditional haiku. that can be found in the first two lines and the next line.

Here, juxtaposition is frequently used. The employment of other literary devices and figurative language, such as similes, shouldn’t come as a surprise to readers.

What Is a Haiku?

Japanese poetry known as haiku is composed of brief, unrhymed lines that conjure images from the natural world. Although there are many different short verse forms for haiku, the most popular is a three-line poem with a five-seven-five syllable pattern.

What Is the Traditional Haiku Structure?

Once the poem is translated between languages, it becomes difficult to define haiku in terms of syllables and sentences.

Twelve English syllables, according to some translations, would more nearly resemble the seventeen morae (sounds) referred to as “on” by Japanese haiku poets.

Japanese haiku are written across one line in a straight line, whereas English-speaking poets divide their poems into three lines using two line breaks. This is another structural variation brought about by translation.


The Evolution of Haiku Poems

Not only is it amazing to know that such a rich history has endured, but it is also admirable. Although the evolution of haiku may be seen as a natural process, similar to anything else in life, a commitment to its sincerity has retained its fundamental ideas.

The basic idea of haiku remained the same even if master poets of the 1800s, like Issa, penned them in the conventional 5-7-5 rhythm when read in Japanese. These great poets pondered brief moments in time, infused their writing with imagery, and strove to convey a sense of enlightenment.

A haiku should only be written during those unique times when you wish to reflect on the nature of existence, such as when a church bell rings in the middle of the night or when you realize your significant other is in love with you. Haikus can even be humorous.

Four Characteristics of Haiku Poetry

Haiku poetry has always focused on nature-related ideas and imagery that conjures up a particular season. The juxtaposition of two images is a common element in haiku poems. What else should you look for in a haiku?

1. Kigo

Traditional haiku have a kigo, which is a word or phrase that describes the season in which it is written. Haiku’s economy of expression is a result of its single-word indication of the season. Sakura for spring, fuji for summer, Tsuki for fall, and samushi for winter are some of the most traditional kigo.

2. Kireji

Kireji also referred to as the “cutting word” in English, interrupts the rhythm of the poem. The kireji frequently combines two pictures. Even while modern haiku don’t usually use a kireji, juxtaposition is still a common element in haiku.

3. Nature and the seasons

Haiku’s initial intent was to describe the season, and poets still frequently concentrate on the natural world and how it changes over the course of the year.

4. On

A Japanese haiku has seventeen syllables. In English, on are counted differently than syllables, which causes translators to disagree on whether seventeen English syllables adequately convey the haiku’s meaning.

History and Structure of Haiku Poems

A haiku has three lines, with five “moras” in the first and last lines and seven in the middle. The haiku has been modified such that syllables are utilized as moras rather than the traditional moras, which do not translate well into haiku.

In Japan, “tanka,” a popular pastime from the 9th to the 12th century, is where haiku poems first appeared. The first three lines of a tanka, which had a 5-7-5 structure, were written by one person, then the next person added a section with a 7-7 structure.

The hokku’s authors were frequently praised for their skill, and occasionally there were hundreds of verses. The hokku developed its own identity in the 19th century and started to be written and read as a standalone poem. Hokku is the source of the word haiku.


Examples of Haiku Poems About Life

Below is a compilation of haiku poems from various famous poets around the globe.

1. Poems by Matsuo Basho

An old silent pond…

A frog jumps into the pond,

splash! Silence again.


Autumn moonlight-

a worm digs silently

into the chestnut.


In the twilight rain

these brilliant-hued hibiscus –

A lovely sunset.

2. Poems by Yosa Buson

A summer river being crossed

how pleasing

with sandals in my hands!


Light of the moon

Moves west, flowers’ shadows

Creep eastward.


In the moonlight,

The color and scent of the wisteria

Seems far away.

3. Poems by Kobayashi Issa

O snail

Climb Mount Fuji,

But slowly, slowly!


Trusting the Buddha, good and bad,

I bid farewell

To the departing year.


Everything I touch

with tenderness, alas,

pricks like a bramble.

4. Poems by Masaoka Shiki

I want to sleep

Swat the flies

Softly, please.


After killing

a spider, how lonely I feel

in the cold of night!


For love and for hate

I swat a fly and offer it

to an ant.


A mountain village

under the piled-up snow

the sound of water.


Night; and once again,

the while I wait for you, cold wind

turns into rain.


The summer river:

although there is a bridge, my horse

goes through the water.


A lightning flash:

between the forest trees

I have seen water.

5. Poems by Natsume Soseki

The lamp once out

Cool stars enter

The window frame.


Plum flower temple:

Voices rise

From the foothills


The crow has flown away:

swaying in the evening sun,

a leafless tree.

6. Poem by Richard Wright

From across the lake,

Past the black winter trees,

Faint sounds of a flute.


7. Poem by Nick Virgilio


out of the water

out of itself

8. Poem by Don Eulert

ground squirrel

balancing its tomato

on the garden fence

9. Poem by Jack Kerouac


Too dark to read the page

Too cold.

10. Poem by Alexis Rotella

Just friends:

he watches my gauze dress

blowing on the line.

11. Poem by Robert Yehling

A little boy sings

on a terrace, eyes aglow.

Ridge spills upward.

12. Poem by Michael Dylan Welch

meteor shower

a gentle wave

wets our sandals

A haiku is thought to be more than just a particular kind of poetry; it’s a way of viewing the material world that reveals something deeper, such as the basic nature of existence. It ought to evoke powerful emotions or impressions in the reader.

Are you crazy about haiku poems about life? Share this article on your Facebook page and drop a comment telling us your favorite haiku poem.

Daily Time Poems.

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