Composing

How to compose classical haiku

Here at Pure Haiku I only publish classical haiku in the English language which are constructed in the strict syllabic structure of 5-7-5.
First line = 5 syllables
Second line = 7 syllables
Third line = 5 syllables

Here is an example: –

The cool night frost melts
with the warm breath of bird song.
Winter dawn chorus.

© Elizabeth Leaper 2013

Line 1 the (1) cool (1) night (1) frost (1) melts (1) = 5 syllables
Line 2 with (1) the (1) warm (1) breath (1) of (1) bird (1) song (1) = 7 syllables
Line 3 Winter (2) dawn (1) chorus (2) = 5 syllables

Here some more examples of haiku that I like to publish on this site: –

Raindrop crystal ball
hangs on the curved petal’s rim
mirrors summers past.

© Jane Dougherty 2016

Teeth grow and hair sprouts
Muscles strengthen, Sinew twists
Man is wolf again.

© D.B. Mauldin 2015

supine astronaut
white rock forever preserved
moondust covers corpse

© Freya Pickard 2015

not a breath of wind
the world waits on tenterhooks
until the song ends

© F Franklin 2015

Of course, syllabic content is just part of what makes traditional haiku traditional. I like haiku that imply, rather than describe. For instance, traditional haiku are supposed to mention a season somewhere in one line, but I prefer the implication of a season as it means I have to work harder for the words. I love contrasts, juxtapositions and a-ha moments. But best of all I love excellent use of the English language!

For a better idea of what I choose to publish on Pure Haiku, please read recent posts from the previous 2 years.

Please make sure you also read SELECTION PROCESS and SUBMISSION EMAILS before sending your haiku to me.

Updated March 2021

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