How to compose classical haiku

A haiku is a moment of reflection, a snapshot in time. It is usually composed in the present tense. Usually an observation of nature is combined with a spiritual insight. Each line should be a line in its own right and all three lines should work in harmony together. The language should flow and when you read the haiku, it should not sound stilted or unnatural.

I love haiku that imply, rather than describe. For instance, traditional haiku are supposed to mention a season (kigo) 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! Send me your haiku that take me beyond reality, that have something Other, that spark that fires my imagination…

And, to be published on this site, your haiku should be composed in the classical way and written in English.

Classical haiku are composed 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: –

timeless spaces embedded
inside catharsis

© Kerfe Roig

Line 1 – 5 syllables – cry-stall-is-a-tion

Line 2 – 7 syllables – time-less-space-es-em-bedd-ed

Line 3 – 5 syllables – in-side-cath-ar-sis

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

an echo repeats
revealing infinity
but still our time ends

© Tina Stewart Brakebill 2021

stars dance through cloud-waves
time’s chiliad rhythms beat,
past and future merge
© Merril D. Smith 2020

esoteric moves
dances with divinity

© Radhika Puttige 2020

swarming night insects
instinct draws them to bright bulb
an imminent death

© Susi Bocks 2020

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 February 2023

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