Haiku: #AtoZChallenge

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HHaiku is one of the most important form of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is, today, a 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables. It has to be written, read and understood as an independent poem, complete in itself, rather than part of a longer chain.

The famous verses of the masters of Haiku of the likes of Basho, Yosa Buson, and Kobayashi Issa are properly referred to as hokku. The distinction between hokku and haiku can be handled by using the terms Classical Haiku and Modern Haiku.

Modern Haiku

The history of the modern haiku dates from Masaoka Shiki’s reform, be2 colorgun in 1892, which established haiku as a new independent poetic form. Shiki’s reform did not change two traditional elements of haiku: the division of 17 syllables into three groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables and the inclusion of a seasonal theme. Often focusing on images from nature, haiku emphasizes simplicity, intensity, and directness of expression. The power of haiku lies in brevity and juxtaposed images. Kawahigashi Hekigoto carried Shiki‘s reform further into greatness.

Haiku-poems can describe almost anything, but you seldom find themes which are too complicated for normal PEOPLE’s recognition and understanding. Some of the most thrilling Haiku-poems describe daily situations in a way that gives the reader a brand new experience of a well-known situation. Each Haiku must contain a kigo, a season word, which indicate in which season the Haiku is set. For example, cherry blossoms indicate spring, snow indicate winter, and mosquitoes indicate summer, but the season word isn’t always that obvious.


A classic haiku by Matsuo Basho

     An old pond!
     A frog jumps in—
     the sound of water.



Here’s my first one, hope I could do justice to Haiku with my first attempt:

Cool breeze,

Insouciant serene mind,

And poetry is born…


Here’s a few in Hindi:

खुला  नीला  आकाश,

अंतर्मन  की  उड़ान,

शब्दों  ने  रूप  लिया  काव्या  का…


बेबाक  उफनती  लहरें,

क्षितिज  तक  फैला  सागर,

फिर  साहिलों  पे  क्यूँ  क़ैद  हैं  हम…


images (1)

Harivansh Rai Bachchan

Well! everyone knows about the classic  ‘मधुशाला’ but here’s one of favorite from his archive:-

वृक्ष हों भले खड़े,

हों घने, हों बड़े,

एक पत्र छांह भी,

माँग मत, माँग मत, माँग मत,

अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ,

तू ना थकेगा कभी,

तू न थमेगा कभी

तू न मुड़ेगा कभी

कर शपथ, कर शपथ, कर शपथ,

अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ,

यह महान दृश्य है,

चल रहा मनुष्य है’

अश्रु, स्वेद, रक्त से,

लथपथ, लथपथ, लथपथ,

अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ, अग्निपथ ||


Screen shot 2012-07-16 at 9.52.12 PM


Meaning- A song or ode of praise, usually addressed to gods, but sometimes to abstractions such as Truth, Justice, or Fortune.


Hope you are having fun with me. If you are reading this, thank you for stopping by. This post is sixth in a series of 26 posts that I will be writing as part of the A to Z challenge for April 2016. My theme for the challenge would be A to Z of poetry. Feel free to leave your feedback and visit again:-)

42 thoughts on “Haiku: #AtoZChallenge

  1. I love haiku – they don’t have to be 5/7/5, they can be shorter. The original westerners who described haiku thought that as there were 17 syllables in most Japanese haiku that should be how they were written – but Japanese words contain many more syllables than those of English. So a haiku in English with 17 syllables will be much more complicated (have more words) than the spare beauty of this written in Japanese. ~Liz http://www.lizbrownleepoet.com

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love writing Haiku’s. I have a few on my website. I used to be heavy into poetry. I’m trying to get past the 200 poem mark. I’m almost there, I should start writing again.
    Stopping over from the A-Z road trip.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much jeffrey…nice to have you here. I am rather new to haiku but I love poetry nonetheless. Good luck with your 200 mark. I would love to see your collection of poems. Thank you so much:-)


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