Three Haiku After Winter

Three Haiku after Winter

Swelling buds
and apple blossoms

Winter’s stars
sink westward, new hope

the full stream rushes,
it rejoices.

Traditionally, Japanese Haiku is a form of syllabic poetry of three lines,

with 5 syllables in the first, 7 in the second, and five in the third (17 syllables total).

English-language poets since the 1950’s have often found that Haiku in English needs fewer syllables,

and have developed a 3-5-3 stanza (11 syllables total); but Americans often bend the rules and come up with free-form Haiku, varying the syllables but sticking to the philosophy. describes the traditional philosophy behind the haiku form as this:

  • focus on a brief moment in time;
  • use provocative, colorful images;
  • make it able to be read in one breath;
  • offer a sense of sudden enlightenment and illumination. 

Haiku is a simple form to experiment with. Try it.

Share your haiku (in the comments) celebrating the passing of winter, the coming of light and illumination, or anything else you want to put into a colorful sentiment that fits into one breath.

38 thoughts on “Three Haiku After Winter”

    1. You’ve got a knack for rhythm, Jill. I love how that last line counterpoints the first two–like a bell sounding with equal emphasis (dong – dong – dong). Very nice.
      Trust your instincts.

    1. Oh, my clever friend, you make me smile! I love poems with literary allusions–
      I never see a daffodil without thinking of William. He has been one of my greatest poetic inspirations…
      Although from what I read of him, I don’t think I would have enjoyed his company at a dinner party. Seems to have been very full of himself. 😉

  1. My mother used to write Haiku poems about everything. The slant of light on her African violets, the sound of a bird at the window, the little neighbor boy trying to kick a ball. She had SO many penciled in a little notebook she carried in her pocket, but though we’ve looked everywhere, and I do mean everywhere, we can’t find it. And she doesn’t remember it at all. All I have are the handful that were published in the newspaper and a writing newsletter.
    So I love reading your Haikus, Tracy and Jenny and Jill (and Heather, too–nice to meet you!) Thanks for giving me my Haiku “fix” today. And thanks for the wonderful spring picture, too, Tracy.

    1. How sad to have lost track of that record. I’m sure it was a wonderful little book.
      Your welcome for the picture and the fix–I hadn’t planned on posting today (I’ve got all my posts scheduled ahead for the next few months, because I’ve got so much going on with the book promotion), but I felt “springy” and I wrote these a number of years ago and remembered I had promised to post my spring poems… The post came together in a matter of minutes (very rare for perfectionist me, who revises most posts 25 times before publishing…)

  2. Beautiful photo! I have seen other bloggers use Haikus but I’ve never written one. Yours are so lovely and capture the theme of winter’s passing so beautifully. Thanks so much for explaining to me just what they are, what they mean and how they should be written. I never knew!
    So, now that you’ve put out the challenge (and I love a challenge!) I can’t resist. So here’s mine:
    Wooded green
    explodes with new life;
    Nature smiles.

    1. Challenges are obviously good for you, Sherri. I’m always amazed at how much you are able to do, in such a short time. To write a quick Haiku–without ever having tried the form before… you’re really something! 🙂

  3. Gorgeous poetry and the picture fits perfectly. Guess what? I’ve been busy reading your book (can’t find where to post a further reply on the original blog post of yours.) I am going to write a review for Amazon. It was a very intelligent and inspirational read. Thank you for writing it. xxx

    1. Wow–I always appreciate praise, but some holds more value than others. Praise from an intelligent and well-read, discerning woman like you–
      I can’t tell you how much that means to me. And I’ll be in your debt forever if you post a review on Amazon. Thank you, dear. You’re a treasure, and I’m delighted to have found you!

  4. Blossom abounds
    Sun filled azure blue sky
    Spring has sprung
    Very well don on your lovely haikus. I not sure I got the syllable count right in mine but it’s my first effort so please forgive. 😉

    1. No need to get the syllables right in the free-form.
      A truly lovely sentiment, and it sure doesn’t look like a first attempt, because the internal sound is very interesting, all those b’s, and sss’s and zzz’s…
      Sound like bees. Very appropriate to the subject and clever, to conjure bees without naming them. 🙂

  5. Karin Van den Bergh

    You have a blogsite inspiring tranquility,Tracy. I love the variety in different subjects and your fluent and eloquent style of writing. I enjoyed ‘Becoming a writer’. I never considered myself as a writer since all I did was more or less a process of online journaling, but you made me think otherwise. Beautiful haikus. Thanks for stopping by at my blog.

    1. Oh, you definitely ARE a writer, Karin. And I really like your blog.
      Will you do me a favor and put a link to your blog in a reply below…. I can’t find it by clicking on your name. I subscribed to it; but my reader is unreliable. So I need to bookmark it to find it easily. Thanks!

    1. Oh, you–are very witty. I think there’s something about the far north that either inspires great hope, or great despair. Glad to hear that at the end of the season, your nature runs toward optimism.
      Wishing you a soon spring!

    1. You, as always, see right into the heart of things, Elizabeth. I wrote this series about 10 years ago, after a particularly long winter that came on top of quite a bit of adversity. It really was all about warmth and rebirth and I wanted to put it into words, without using those two words.
      We’re soul-sisters; I’m sure!
      The photo came a few years later–I discovered an incredibly peaceful place near a river in Wisconsin, where few people ever trod.

  6. I wasn’t really able to submit one when I first read these, too much going on, no inner calm, which is not good for writing Haikus…let me give it a try now:
    Packing once again
    Old and New brightly lure me
    My Love by my side.
    My Germanness and general wordiness seem to make the 5-7-5 way easier for me.

    1. I love i!
      And I agree–the 5-7-5 is definitely more suitable to a German way of thinking.
      And this is just lovely. Print it into ink. Nina will appreciate having it in print. Trust me on this. (I have a little tin box, full of 20+ years worth of sweet sentiments from Ken–my most treasured possession. Seriously–if I had to rescue anything from a fire, that tin would be at the top of my list).

      1. I tried for like 30 minutes to come up with a (totally different topic) 3-5-3, and it was just not doable for me…gotta embrace that, I actually like that about myself.
        It’s wonderful you keep those memories and sentiments. Just awesome. Nina is a decidedly un-sentimental person, so I am not sure how much this would mean to her (I know it would mean something to her, after all it is coming from me), so I think I might not end up printing it. But it is such an expression of where I am in my relationship: She grounds me, and yet she makes me fly high…wait, maybe that is my 3-5-3 haiku. That works, right???
        She grounds me
        and yet she makes me
        fly up high.

        1. so big deal that she’s not sentimental now. She’s Sooooo young.
          Trust me on this–she’ll be sentimental when she’s older.( everyone gets sentimental with age). Print this great stuff you’ve written!!! And tuck it in a pretty tin box. I’m so GLAD I have the dumb sentiments Ken wrote to me on yellow legal paper, decade ago. It isn’t sentimental–now it’s history.

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