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Friday, April 17, 2015

Poetry Friday--National Haiku Poetry Day!

I'm a big haiku fan as many of you know, so today's designation as National Haiku Poetry Day makes me happy! The Haiku Foundation website is the place to start if you're interested in learning more about haiku. For those of you who have only known haiku as a three-line poem of 5-7-5 syllables, you're in for a surprise!

If, after visiting The Haiku Foundation, you've been inspired to read more haiku, then look for one or more of these books that I can personally recommend:

Whenever someone asks for a recommendation for haiku, I always suggest The Haiku Anthology: Haiku and Senryu in English edited by Cor van den Heuvel [811 HAI]. This anthology presents an infinite variety of poems. Here is a sampling:

spring is here
      the cat's muddy pawprints
      on the windowsill

by Nick Avis

the plumber
kneeling in our tub
--talking to himself

by Tom Clausen

The last kid picked
running his fastest
to right field

by Mike Dillon

In my medicine cabinet,
   the winter fly
has died of old age.

by Jack Kerouac

by the autumn hill
my watercolor box

by Raymond Roseliep

behind sunglasses
I doze and wake...
the friendly man talks on

by Anita Virgil

In case you don't know the term "senryu," it is simply a poem in haiku form that is about human nature. Nature, with a capital "N" is the subject of a haiku. The poem by Nick Avis is a haiku. The one by Tom Clausen I would categorize as a senryu. The one by Anita Virgil could be either. It deals with human nature in that we all find ways to hide, but, it also deals with the effects of a bright summer's day where we must wear sunglasses and the sun's warmth can put us to sleep. You'll find the lines between the two are often blurred!

I invite you to visit Robyn Hood Black for the Poetry Friday Round-Up. Robyn, too, is a fan of haiku. Maybe she will feature some today?


  1. One of the best introductions I've seen, Diane - I will definitely bookmark as a reference. (And while I have most of those books, there are a few titles there I might have to squeeze into my burgeoning little shelves.)

    Thanks for being such a great voice for haiku today!!

    1. Thank you Robyn! I hope you have Baseball Haiku on that shelf! Even those non-baseball people will find the poems enjoyable!

  2. Thank you, Diane. I am trying to write, reading the sources I already have, & you've just added immeasurable to my list.

    1. That's my job as librarian--to compile resources for readers (and writers).

  3. Thanks for this, Diane. I am gradually releasing myself from the 5-7-5. You are one of my best teachers!

  4. Thanks for the book recommendation, Diane. I'm on it!