Lesson 19


Haiku is a poetic form and a type of poetry from the Japanese culture. Haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. Haiku poets, which you will soon be, write about everyday things. Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences. Usually they use simple words and grammar. The most common form for Haiku is three short lines. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. Haiku doesn't rhyme. A Haiku must "paint" a mental image in the reader's mind. This is the challenge of Haiku - to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind in ONLY 17 syllables over just three (3) lines of poetry! Check out some Haiku at Haiku Salon (see Lesson 2 for the link).





The Rose

Donna Brock


The red blossom bends


and drips its dew to the ground.


Like a tear it falls





A Rainbow

Donna Brock


Curving up, then down.


Meeting blue sky and green earth


Melding sun and rain.


Have your teacher show you how to copy and paste this into your word processing program by toggling between the Internet and your word processing program. Now print out a copy of one, or both of the Haiku's above and mark the syllables with your pencil. If you are having trouble figuring out how many syllables, try clapping out the words, or putting your hand under your chin and counting how many times your chin goes down. If all else fails, get a dictionary! :)

Now its your turn. Pick your favorite sport. That sport will be your theme. Decide: 1) For what purpose will you write?

2) What mood do you want to convey?

Think of the images, descriptive words, and figurative language that best describe that sport (remember sounds, smells, sights). Jot them down in web form or as you think of them. Then the final step is to experiment by putting your ideas on the Haiku "skeleton" - 5, 7, 5 (syllables) and 3 lines.


Look at your poem, check it for correct syllables and lines. Now, for the real test, read it ALOUD. Does it really paint a clear picture? Share your Haiku with someone else. Listen to his or her critique of your poem. A critique is when someone tells you the strengths and weaknesses of your work. DON'T GET MAD, LISTEN to the suggestions. Revise your work. Remember, the BEST writers are REWRITERS!


Fill in the seven syllable line.


Green elms in the woods




Standing tall and proud



Fill in the two five syllable lines.




The petals bend to the earth





You are ready to look at your theme from Lesson 15 and try it in Haiku form


Write an original Haiku. Type and choose a font that adds to the look of your Haiku. Revise. Finish by illustrating your poem. If you are computer talented, you might want to draw it on the computer.


Lyrical Lessons