It’s often said that haiku can be read in a single breath. Small wonder, then, that many find it to be a means to breathing, to focusing, to noticing. Haiku can help make you more resilient, and it can help reduce your stress levels. It can be a means of expression which might otherwise seem impossible, and it can help a writer learn the beauty of an economy of words. We’ve collected ten great haiku resources, from right here at Tweetspeak and all around the web, to help you discover the history of the form, how to write it, how to read it, and how to love it.
1. Why Haiku
One aim of haiku’s approach is to capture a hard-to-define sense of ma, a Japanese concept that roughly translates as gap, space, or pause,” says Christopher Patchel. Learn more about the poetic power of few words that this sparse form offers to its writer—and its readers.
Not sure what goes into your haiku? It’s definitely not your sweaty gym socks. Find out why your poem needs to go out for recess and why it’s not a math problem in this fun, illustrated infographic suitable for classroom use.
In haiku, writes Angela O’Donnell, “the poet has 17 syllables (or fewer) in which to say, not the un-sayable, but what can be said. There is no room for explanation, only impression.” Discover the way its brevity “invites poet and reader to experience both in the same instant of time.”
Whether a reading or a ginko, plan your own or attend a National Haiku Poetry Day event on April 17.
In Japan, “similarities between the set architecture of haiku – 17 syllables total formed by three lines of five, then seven, then five syllables – and Twitter, which allows no more than 140 characters” are converging to create a space for the traditional form in a contemporary digital setting.
Besides “about a hundred poems each, from the ‘ascetic and seeker’ (Bashō), ‘the artist’ (Buson), and ‘the humanist’ (Issa),” Robert Hass provides haiku in a soup bowl “feels like it curves quite deep.” Learn more in L.L. Barkat’s review of The Essential Haiku.
Looking for an excellent haiku resource? Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years may be just what you need, including an anthology.
Perhaps you’d enjoy a community of poets and readers committed to “promoting the creation and appreciation of haiku and related forms, (haibun, haiga, renku, senryu, sequences, and tanka) among its members and the public.”
Learn how taking a haiku walk—a practice of mindfulness in three parts, like the haiku structure—can give your mind and body and even come out with a few poems.
Photo by Jeff Kubina. Creative Commons license via Flickr.