Haiku Poetry - A Description and a Weather Report

by Edward Weiss   Sep 18, 2006

A while back I heard haiku poetry referred to as a description with a weather report. And while this may not always be the case, it's pretty much true!

Haiku poetry uses the concept of macro and micro very well here. For example, if I started a haiku out with the fragment "cool spring day," what we have here is a macro description of what kind of day it is - a weather report if you will.

Now, if I add a specific descriptive phrase to it like "a hummingbird darts out of sight," we have a micro view of something happening on this day. Combined, we have this haiku:

cool spring day --
a hummingbird
darts out of sight

Good haiku poetry need not be more than a description of the general ambiance of the day and something that is taking place during the day. As long as what is taking place is happening in "a present moment" the haiku will be OK. The problem some people have is that they remove themselves from the thing "as it's taking place" and describe something that already has or will happen. Not very haiku like at all.

Personally, I have a problem with haiku poets who try to be sophisticated thereby losing the haiku spirit. They try to write something that is "good" or they try and come up with something that will impress others. Don't do it! Keep it simple and your haiku will be little gems.


Edward Weiss is a poet, author, and publisher of Wisteria Press. He has been helping students learn how to write haiku for many years and has just released his first book "Seashore Haiku!" Sign up for free daily haiku and get beautiful haiku poems in your inbox each morning! Visit http://www.wisteriapress.com for haiku books, lessons, articles, and more!

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