Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Haiku A to Z: V is for Variation--and Venture

a favorite 2014
"There are many variations of haiku, but all haiku are small poems. Some forms count syllables, others don't. Some are written in variations of longer and shorter lines--others are simply limited by the overall number of syllables." --Haiku Journal

Does the idea of variation--so many varying styles and approaches--in haiku put up roadblocks to your attempts to write this type of poetry and cause you to veer away before even giving it a chance? Here comes my pep talk--don't be afraid to venture into the world of haiku!

Simple exercises can help get you started. One idea I particularly like:

"Try to write a haiku--or several haiku. Before you do, go to a natural setting and study a specific area. Visually create a circle thirty feet in diameter, and keep your eyes trained on that spot. When your observation connects with a specific movement, write our opening line. The movement may carry you through two lines, or just one. Either way, look for the juxtaposition in the relationship--aging willow/image unsteady--and use the rest of your haiku to write it out. Write sparsely and with precision. When you've completed your written observation, hone it to a 5-7-5 syllable count but leave nothing essential out." --"Experience the World Precisely" at Poetry Through the Ages

Charles Trumbull, editor of Modern Haiku has said, "Haiku, like other forms of poetry, are vehicles for transmitting meaning." Using haiku as a vehicle we come to day twenty-two haiku:

violet face sweet
quietness tucked in the grass...
smiles pass hand to heart
--Kenda Turner


  1. We have violets growing in our lawn this year. Where they came from - and how they escape the lawn mower - I do not know. But they do have a "sweet quietness," and when my granddaughter picks one for her mommy, the love goes straight from "hand to heart." Perfect imagery!

    1. Peggy, we have similar experiences with little ones picking violets, that's where the inspiration first came from :-) glad you enjoyed, and thanks for kind words. Enjoy your violets!

  2. Nice work, Kenda. I can spell haiku, but that's about as close as I come to poetry. What did Steinbeck say, a novelist is a failed short story writer who in turn is a failed poet? Something like that, and maybe it wasn't Steinbeck. Ahhh! Anyway, your stuff has some really nice imagery, I enjoyed it.


  3. Thank you, John, and nice of you to stop in :-) And I appreciate the reference to the Steinbeck quote--will have to look that one up! Have great day...

  4. Also like your hand to heart phrase:) Violets grow well just about anywhere. Pinch the heads and they stay all summer. Be sure to read my X post. My first haiku!!

    1. Sharon, I didn't know this about violets, I thought they just faded away early summer! I'll have to cultivate a patch by pinching them back. Wow, so glad to know it, I'll be able to enjoy them longer. And yes, heading over to your X post. Sorry couldn't get there until now. Can't wait to read your haiku :-)