A haiku is an ancient form of Japanese poetry, which consists of three lines with the syllable structure “five-seven-five.” National Haiku Poetry day celebrates the art form every April 17 — although we think it should be celebrated on May 7 (5-7)! Haikus typically revolve around nature, the passing of seasons, or ephemeral beauty.
At the risk of sounding like your high school English teacher, they rely more on images than metaphors. So there’s that.
They’re also very concise, due to their short length.
National Haiku Poetry Day Activities
Bask in natureAdmire the pine trees
They shadow the tiny snail
Wonder, small and large
Many Haikus focus on natural beauty. Take a walk in whatever nature you have available to you, even if it's a small city park. Focus on the ephemerality of beauty, and have a zen moment yourself.
Read the classics
Matsuo Bashō (1644-1694) is perhaps the greatest haiku poet of all time. Read his work to understand what's possible, and set your standards high.
Write your own!
Anybody can write a haiku — although writing a good one is tricky. Check out examples online for inspiration, and try reciting a few out loud for a sense of flow. Share your work by using the hashtag #NationalHaikuPoetryDay and make sure to tag us @NatlToday!
Why We Love National Haiku Poetry Day
Rules encourage creativity
Although the rules of haiku may seem restrictive, they actually foster creativity, by triggering the brain's problem solving center.
Haikus are over 400 years old
The haiku form became popular in 17th century Japan, and was tied into the practice of zen meditation.
Brevity is the essence of witHaikus are so short
Poets must count ev'ry word
Fewer lines = more punch!