Creative Ideas


Creative Ideas: Haiku

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The closed petals

many shades of crimson

here, here

Welcome to the Creative Ideas' haiku page.

This page contains Haiku poetry and art. See the links to the Haiku Sampler, Nuances of Nothing, and Haiku Explored below.

Haiku is a short poem that originated in Japan. It began as the hokku or the first link of a renga which was a series of linked poems. On the surface, its focus is on a particular time and place and uses plain language. However its simplicity belies its depth. The form is replete with symbolism, allegory, allusion, transcendence, Zen, and in attempting to express the essence of a moment, creates in the reader a moment of realization. This may be because a of the juxtaposition of ideas, images, or emotional content and so, for a moment, in the mind or heart of the reader, there is a similar resonant experience.

The format in Japanese is 5-7-5 syllables on three lines and has a seasonal word. The foreign language writer usually strives for the essence of haiku without strict adherence to the 17 syllable count. I have heard that this situation exists because many in the America saw Haiku for the first time only after it had been translated into English. The syllable count of course would not "translate" well and thus American Haiku tends to be more "liberal." For interesting modern Haiku see: Simply Haiku

I am pleased to designate San Francisco's latest tourist destination. The Haiku Pond!

1) A sampler of Haiku: This links to a page of some of my haiku, which you might find enjoyable.

2) Nuances of Nothing: This links to a page exploring that aspect of nothing which speaks volumes in haiku.

3) Haiku Explored: This links to a page a brief exploring some basic elements of haiku.

4) Haiku Links: These are useful websites listed on this page.

5) Haiku Cards: An art concept I've long had in mind; these are a few simple samples on this page.


Haiku Links

1) Haiku Spirit Haiku Spirit is an online incarnation of the journal published by the Dublin Writers' Workshop, Ireland's oldest community of writers & its first online, with haiku, haibun, articles & reviews.

2) Haiku Poet's of Northern California, HPNC, A group local to that area but welcoming to any who wish to join at distance.

3) Poetry in the Light At Elizabeth St. Jacques' site you will find a large & lovely collection of haiku, haibun, renga, tanka & sijo, plus articles like Ms. St. Jacques' own "Rhythm in Haiku?"

4) Ogura Hyakunin Isshu, or "100 Poems By 100 Poets" The cooperative Japanese Text Initiative from the University of Virginia & the University of Pittsburgh has produced this on-line version of the most famous, if not definitive, collection of classical Japanese tanka, chosen from the 7th to the 13th centuries.

5) Links to Haiku Sites by Jane Reichold This site has a detailed definition, and a large number of links concerning definitions, forms, history, and more.

6) A Journey through the History of Haiku This site provides one with a sampling of Haiku Poets predating Basho, continuing on through Buson, Shiki, Kyoshi, and those in more recent, modern times.

7) Yuki Teikei Haiku Society has their web site titled: "Young Leaves" The Yuki Teikei Haiku Society of the United States and Canada was founded in San Jose, California, in 1975 by Mr. Kiyoshi Tokutomi and Mrs. Kiyoko Tokutomi.  The purpose of the founders was to nourish and foster the art of writing Haiku in English using the traditional guidelines developed by haiku poets in Japan, where haiku originated. 

8) Haiku Society of America The Haiku Society of America is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1968 to promote the writing and appreciation of haiku in English. Membership is open to all readers, writers, and students of haiku.

The HSA has been meeting regularly since its inception and sponsors open lectures, workshops, readings, and contests. The HSA has a total of about 800 members around the country and overseas.

9) Central Valley Haiku Club Since 1999, the Central Valley Haiku Club has been a small but prolific group of poets interested in crafting their art and advancing the haiku movement. Toward these goals, we have members who regularly place poems in most of the haiku journals, anthologies and contests. We sponsor an annual haibun contest and publish our own member books

10) From DMOZ the open directory project comes this page that has the heading of Arts: and the following subheadings: Literature: Poetry: Forms: Haiku and Related Forms. A raft of links here, check it out!

Haiku Cards

Only the moonlight

slant across her empty table

at the one AM chime

Gold crescent into

tree silhouettes;

frosty breath rises away


On the wall outside

bamboo shadows wave in breeze

I can't hear or feel

nameless flowers

outside my garden - visited

by bees, none the less

Yellow flowers here

where one would least expect them,

too much company


homeward bound

on the handrail of the old bridge

tears break


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