Writing prompt of the day: Write a haiku

Writing prompt of the day: Write a haiku

A haiku is a small poem that creates a large emotional impression. Haiku writers compress meaning into a 5-7-5 syllabic structure using direct and simple language. These poems never have titles and seldom rhyme or use obvious metaphor and simile.

Your writing challenge is to write your own ROUGH haiku poem in ONE day. Remember, the goal is to write, not to make it perfect.

The poet Michael Dylan Welch shares the following haiku strategies:

  • A haiku “conveys, through implication and suggestion, a moment of keen perception and perhaps insight into nature or human nature…[using] objective imagery.” Instead of using words that label, interpret, or describe your reaction to your experience, focus on “the facts of what you see, hear, smell, taste, and touch.”

  • The haiku is centered on a “kire,” or a pause, created by two seemingly unrelated elements. This leaves the reader to find the connection between the two parts, creating an “aha” moment. One of the elements spans two lines and the other spans one line.

  • Traditional haiku contains one “kigo,” or seasonal word (like “snow” to indicate winter) to connect the poem to nature, time, and other poetry.

  • When writing a haiku, focus on objectively describing images, the seasons, and your perceptions through the five senses.

Ultimately, to become a haiku poet, Welch advises you to “observe life around you closely and see freshly and authentically so that you may imply life's little epiphanies effectively. Let the ‘aha’ moments of life be implied by your carefully chosen words describing nature and human nature.”

Here is my attempt to write a haiku:

Burnt red rocks shine gold

when desert suns rise from moons,

too bright for naked eyes.

I definitely broke a rule in the last line…but you know when a line just feels right?

Well, it’s your turn. Share your poem in the comments below.

And keep satisfying that writer soul by writing,

Rachel Michelle

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