A blog devoted mainly to haiku and senryu and to thoughts about, and inspired by, haiku and senryu.

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Location: New York, New York

Haiku is to poetry as espresso is to coffee.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

Here is the first haiku I ever wrote. Date of composition was 12/30/04. I was seventy-one at the time. When I wrote it, I was comfortably indoors, looking out the window on a very cold winter's day.
whitecaps dancing
spray against the breakwater
winter wind
And here is the most recent. This one was inspired by Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "The Gates," currently on display in Central Park.
saffron banners
holding the wind
letting it go
In keeping with haiku's venerable tradition, most of the haiku I'm writing these days articulate winter moments. Can Spring be far behind?


Blogger uao said...


I notice you use a syllable structure of:

4-6-3 in the first and

4-4-4 in the second.

What are the rules on syllables?

2:41 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

The basic rule is that a haiku must not exceed 17 syllables. One way of doing it is the familiar 5-7-5 breakdown, based simply on syllable count. Some English-language haiku is structured instead by beats: 2-3-2 (that's beats or stresses, not syllables). And some are essentially free verse. I've written haiku of all three kinds. Moreover, while the 3-line form remains the norm, there are one-line, 2-line, even 4-line haiku as well. I've written a few one- and 2-liners, some of which may eventually appear on the blog. Essentially, I let a first draft tell my what kind of haiku this one wants to be.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Jim said...

There doesn't seem to be an option to place a comment directly below your revision, so I'm adding one here -- of course there is difference, as the first version would seem to be very directly referring to what the saffron banners are doing, and in a physical sense...in the revision, couldn't the 3rd line perhaps refer to something happening on the part of the witness, or at least somehow add a dimension of personification to the banners, which are "letting go".

Not the darkest of your works, I admit...

8:33 AM  
Blogger cw said...

Great haiku Bill. Having been someone that in the past never really appreciated poetry, i've found haiku to be especially moving all of a sudden. Thank you for doing your part today. :)

Greetings from BlogClicker by the way, and happy birthday!

10:08 AM  
Blogger martin said...

snow storm --
the spray covers
the jetty

3:14 PM  
Blogger martin said...

winter light
a brick's shadow falls
on the next brick

3:16 PM  
Blogger Bill said...

Martin: Both very nice. And I appreciate your visiting the archives.

5:56 PM  
Blogger indonesianegriku said...

thank's for sharing info,..!
Kerja Keras Adalah Energi Kita

8:01 AM  

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