#AtoZChallenge: H is for Haiku

Day8 of the A to Z Challenge is the letter “H”:

H is for Haiku


1. a major form of Japanese verse, written in 17 syllables divided into 3 lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and employing highly evocative allusions and comparisons, often on the subject of nature or one of the seasons.


I used haiku in The Red Kimono as part of Sachi’s internalized voice. I love to read and write haiku, because I am amazed at how powerful a story can be, even if told in only seventeen syllables. On my haiku blog, Life: Haiku by Haiku (my book by the same title will be published this summer,) I write:

“As with life, haiku’s power is in its brevity.”

One of my favorite haiku authors is Basho. Here are a few of his poems:


all night
autumn winds being heard
behind the mountains


the first snow,
just enough to bend
the leaves of the daffodils.


long conversations
beside blooming irises –
joys of life on the road

Here are a few from The Red Kimono:

A porcelain mask
Though inside a heart beats strong
Even the oak breaks


My house is empty
But memories will remain
Echoes in my heart


A stare needs no words
You are different. Go away
A slap needs no hand.

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8 Responses to #AtoZChallenge: H is for Haiku

  1. Mark says:

    Hi Jan, thanks for dropping by and commenting on my blog 🙂

    I’ve always found haiku fascinating in that you can tell a big story in not many words. Sometimes, at least for me, counting syllables can be tricky.

    • Jan Morrill says:

      Hi Mark! Thanks for stopping by! Not that I’m obsessed with haiku or anything, but sometimes when I’m trying to sleep, I count syllables instead of sheep. 🙂

  2. Kelly says:

    Glad I found your blog. We write a lot of haiku at our house, although most of them are not really true haiku, but instead are of the more lighthearted genre that focus on things like incomplete homework or dirty socks rather than observations of nature or unspoken emotions. I still enjoy the real thing, though!

  3. Haiku’s are my favorite form of poetry because word choice is so important.

  4. dobbin477 says:

    Basho is a classic! One day, I’d just love to sit down and read a book of his.

  5. Pingback: Case Briefs in Haiku | Queen City Addendum

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