A I K U S P
I R I T
W Hackett's Suggestions to write haiku
The present is the touchstone of the haiku experience, so
always be aware of this present moment.
Remember that nature is the province of haiku.
(Carry a notebook for recording your haiku experiences.)
Contemplate natural objects closely... unseen wonders will
Interpenetrate with nature. Allow subjects to express their
life through you. "That art Thou."
Reflect upon your notes of nature in solitude and quiet. Let
these be the basis of your haiku poems.
Write about nature just as it is... be true to life!
Choose each word very carefully. Use words that clearly
express what you feel.
Use verbs in the present tense.
For added dimension choose words that suggest the season,
location, or time of the day.
Use only common language.
Write in three lines which total approximately 17 syllables.
Many haiku experiences can be well expressed in the
Japanese line arrangement of 5, 7, 5 syllables - but not all.
Avoid end rhyme in haiku. Read each verse aloud to make
sure that it sounds natural.
Remember that lifefulness, not beauty, is the real quality of
Never use obscure allusions: real haiku are intuitive, not
abstract or intellectual.
Don't overlook humour, but avoid mere wit.
Work on each poem until it suggests exactly what you want
others to see and feel.
Remember that haiku is a finger pointing at the moon, and
if the hand is bejewelled, we no longer see that to which it
Honour your senses with awareness, and your Spirit with
zazen or other centering meditation. The Zen-haiku mind
should be like a clear mountain pond: reflective, not with
thought, but of the moon and every flight beyond...