What I Don’t Like ‘Bout Haiku


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What I don’t like ’bout
Haiku is that when I am
Just beginning, I

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My name Edmark M. Law. I work as a freelance writer, mainly writing about science and mathematics. I am an ardent hobbyist. I like to read, solve puzzles, play chess, make origami and play basketball. In addition, I dabble in magic, particularly card magic and other sleight-of-hand type magic. I live in Hong Kong. You can find me on Twitter` and Facebook. My email is edmarklaw@learnfunfacts.com

41 thoughts on “What I Don’t Like ‘Bout Haiku

  1. I think haikus are one of the most difficult type of poetry to master. Few can do them well, expressing a complete thought or painting a vivid picture. The majority I have read just leave me scratching my head.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Haiku is certainly a test of writing ability. Any writer can express his or her thoughts in limitless words; it takes a control of perception to achieve the same in the seventeen syllables allowed by a haiku.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Huh, I didn’t know that. Yes, that would make writing haiku in Japanese even more difficult. Now I’m curious about how actual Japanese haiku, not English translations of Japanese haiku, sound. I’ll have to look around for some examples…


      2. Japanese Haiku also includes a ‘Kigo’ or word that relates to the seasons. For example a frog would denote summer
        Tanka also requires a ‘kigo’ at least in Japanese. In English it doesn’t seem to be important.
        One of the most famous haiku I like is:
        Shizukesa ya
        Iwa ni shimi-iru
        Semi no koe
        And the song of cicadas
        Soaking into rock
        (My translation)


      1. I’m confused about that. Haiku was never 5-7-5 in English. It was Japanese and 17 onji. So, who’s breaking those rules and not being impressive, when american English invented a style of haiku by breaking the rules and form that meant haiku in the first place.

        Liked by 2 people

      2. Thank you for this, Edward. I always want to know about form and substance and what came before and I want artists to have freedom to know, take in, appreciate, accept, reject, decide.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. OK, it has taken me forever on this dang device. I t won’t let me type Edmark. Keeps changing to Edward. Aaarrgghh! Got the spellcheck temporarily under control. Anyone know how to stop this? I’m sorry Edmark, didn’t see it to begin with. Geez.


  3. Yes, the number of syllables is important. When I was young, I attended a new poets’ club. They provided us with a brief explanation what the original text contained and we had to strictly follow the haiku rules and make it Latvian. It was a good exercise because it made one to really choose the words and include the meaning within such very brief lines. Writing haiku and tanku is a big art, it’s not really what we are seeing on the internet when every short writing is called a haiku. I used to like exactly that: the strong alignment of poetic verbal figures within the brief pattern of syllables. It tests one whether they are good enough to being able to transfer the emotional load from their imaginative scene into a short poem.
    I like your approach explaining it, it seems funny!

    Liked by 5 people

    1. The system of meter used by the Japanese is different. They don’t count syllables but sounds. That’s why most Japanese haiku are a lot shorter.

      So, while I have anything against the 5-7-5 syllables being used in English, I don’t think that it should be strictly implemented. However, it’s another story if you don’t follow the proper form of an Englslish sonnet when you claim that you wrote one…


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