Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – GW Post – April 8, 2015

Today at Carpe Diem Haiku Kai, we are talking about haiku structure … that is the various structural forms in which a modern western haiku can be written.  There are the classical 5-7-5, then the 3-5-3 and finally free form haiku.

The first two structural forms try to imitate the Japanese onji – and the problem is that more often than not one can find oneself writing haiku which is stilted, since most western languages are not phonetic and are not based on sound like the Japanese language is.  So today, Chèvrefeuille on the Ghost Writer post has asked us to try the three forms of haiku – sort of try them on for size!

(I spent the last week-end at Venice.  We decided to visit the islands of Venice instead of the city proper – specifically Burano, Torcello and Murano.  This is one of the photos taken there with which I will try to transmit the emotions of that day.)


over the canal
the gull looks for warm havens
cold winds are blowing

– shivering
a sharp cold wind blows
all seek heat

from the bridge – observe
even the gull looks cold

© G.s.k. ‘15

24 thoughts on “Carpe Diem Haiku Kai – GW Post – April 8, 2015

    • Thanks Janice … I did the 5-7-5 for a long while until I got the feel of all the rules … then cut loose. Sometimes I still write a 5-7-5 but I prefer something less structured (now that I’ve got the hang of the thing.)


  1. I probably like the first one best – maybe I’m a classical girl at heart – or it’s just the seagull! We went to Venice a couple of years ago at Easter and it was definitely a bit colder than we’d hoped and very wet. Did Murano on the sunniest day, which was amazing.


    • Yes, Venice for Easter might not have been the best choice … and Easter this year was early so … wet, windy and cold. Haiku is a question of what jogs your spirit. If you enjoyed the first one more, that’s fine, nothing wrong with the old 5-7-5 if it’ll when it comes out without feeling stilted. And seagulls always attract me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I usta write 3-5-3 poems I called “miniatures” because I didn’t think the counted as ‘real’ haiku (hey! I I didn’t know any better!) I should dig those out of my archives (I’m thinking that was back in 2002-2003…), and maybe try my hand at writing more…

    (I’ve also had great fun writing clusters of what Allen Ginsberg called “American Sentences”…)

    VENICE! The PBL promises to take me there some day…


    • You really should go back to writing you miniatures … that’s much better than 5-7-5 … and i prefer Kerouac to Ginsberg … When the PBL takes you to Venice, give me a shout!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You captured the cold windy weather with the shivering seagulls.I like the the free verse best. 575 only works well very occasionally in English. In writing form it is almost impossible to write it without appearing stilted.Having said that I still like the challenge of poetic forms.
    One of my treasures is a thick coloured Murano glass ashtray bought there light years ago ! Venice for Easter…lucky gal !


    • Thanks Cressida for your lovely comment! I’ve done a lot of 5-7-5 and enjoy it from time to time .. I prefer tanka I think in the end .. a lot more space to move, but the free verse haiku is a great liberation from form.


in shadows light - walking under weeping pines - spring rain

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