I have received my first haiku handbook as an overseas gift.

Will a similar book be ever published in Polish?
I had no idea it’s so complicated!?


How to write haiku – or rather how to construct it? It seems quite easy but the devil’s in the detail; in details or in rules – unexpectedly numerous - which must be followed to create this modest poetry.

Three lines, 17 syllables, composed in 5-7-5 rhythm.

Kigo – a word, an expression indicating season of the year in a more or less direct way, e.g. ‘chill off the river’ (probably autumn), ‘Christmas Eve’, ‘August in garden’.

Kireji – cut , transition of thought from one image to another. Usually after first or second line (//).

quiet May evening //
sandal buckle muddles up
crickets’ tune in grass

at daybreak returns
the salvaged shape of the sun //
the ice-cold ocean

Nature – the main subject of poetic interests of a haijin – a haiku writer. Haiku is full of sunshine, leaves, frogs croaking, crickets and forget-me-nots.

Simplicity – of form and content. Haiku does not like sophisticated metaphores. It shows the world just the way it is and emphasizes the beauty of seemingly insignificant things.

Impersonality. Haiku writer is absent in his poetry and personal pronouns are inadvisable.

The present. Haiku does not like past or future tense – it focuses on here and now.

Space. Haiku does not describe subject directly or completely. It gives the reader freedom of thought and invites to co-creating its meaning along with the author.

Haiku is just like a flash of insight, a stop, a draft, a challenge… And beyond all that, it is a good exercise for a chatterbox.

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