What's In The Book? - Haiku

Core Literary Elements

Haiku

CA Language Arts Standards Covered:

9/10 LRA 3.7; L&S 1.1; W&O 1.3, 1.4; 11/12 LRA 3.1; W&O 1.1, 1.2; W 2.2 R 2.0; LRA 3.4

 

 

Haiku presents a vivid picture and the poet’s impression, sometimes with suggestions of spiritual insight. The traditional haiku is three lines long: the first line is five syllables, the second line is seven syllables, and the third line is five syllables.

BASHO was one of the most famous of all Haiku poets.

NOTE: In Japanese, the syllable count of the haikus below would be accurate.

The English translation alters it.

An old pond!

A frog jumps in—

The sound of water.

 

No one travels

Along this way but I,

This autumn evening.

 

Modern Haiku’s follow a syllabic structure (5,7,5). Haiku’s are:

 

• Three lines long

• The first line is five syllables

• The second line is seven syllables

• The third line is five syllables

 

For example:

What’s in my headphones?

Nothing but Hip-Hop music,

Jay-Z, Tupac, Nas!

 

Poetry Writing Exercise: Write a Haiku

 

Have students construct their own haikus.

Give them the freedom to explore their own subject matters, but insist that they count out the syllables and follow the proper structure.

 

NOTE: For less advanced students have them literally count out the amount of syllables per line and write the number beside their work so to ensure accuracy.

 

For example:

What’s in my headphones? (5)

Nothing but Hip-Hop music, (7)

Jay-Z, Tupac, Nas! (5)