Haiku Friday

I've been working on a haiku about these seedpods but I don't quite have it. Want to give it a try?

I’ve been working on a haiku about these seedpods but I don’t quite have it.
Want to give it a try?
















Every so often, I set aside a day, or a few, to write haiku. I love that they require me to slow down and attend to the world around me. Haiku are about our immediate experience of the physical world. They are different from so many other forms because they don’t generally use rhyme or metaphor or other poetic tools. The writer is not supposed to interpret the experience for the reader—just transport the reader, so the reader can have the experience too. In a way the writer is supposed to make herself invisible. But, not really. The writer is, of course, present in the moment she chooses to share and in the way she constructs the experience for the reader. I’m not even sure it’s quite correct to say haiku doesn’t use metaphor—sometimes the metaphor seems to lie in the unstated connection between the two parts of the poem and sometimes the whole poem feels like a metaphor.

My very favorite aspect of haiku is the inference. The reader must infer the meaning, which the writer does not state. It is the unsaid that I find endlessly intriguing.

Today I thought I would share some of haiku of mine that have been published recently. Another nice thing about writing haiku is that there are a handful of journals that accept and publish them regularly, so haiku poets have opportunities to share. I highly recommend all of these publications for reading and for submitting. The Heron’s Nest and A Hundred Gourds are available on-line. Frogpond and Acorn are gorgeous, paper journals.


keeping time
until the end

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XVI: No. 1, March 2014


snow field
the earth marked
by fallen angels

Frogpond, Vol. 36:3, Autumn 2013
Third Place, Harold G Henderson Memorial Award, Haiku Society of America


  the length
    of my solitude

A Hundred Gourds, Vol 3:2, March 2014


sending ripples
through the clouds…
water strider

Acorn, Fall 2013



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13 replies
  1. Buffy Silverman
    Buffy Silverman says:

    Wonderful haikus, and great description of what a haiku is and isn’t (I’ve been playing with some–you’ve made me realize that I’m not leaving enough for the reader to infer. That’s a challenge.) Love your icicles.

  2. mattforrest
    mattforrest says:

    Looks like we both had haiku on our minds for today, Liz! These are really nice – especially ‘snow field…’ I agree with you that it’s “the unsaid that I find endlessly intriguing.”

  3. Linda Baie
    Linda Baie says:

    Except for one, I read these in your journals, too. Congratulations again, Liz. I liked hearing your words about haikus too, and the ideas for publication. My favorite still in that which ends with inchworm-love it!

  4. readingtothecore
    readingtothecore says:

    I had haiku on my mind this week, too. But after reading your description of the form, I wonder if I have too much metaphor. I love the image of a snow field full of fallen angels. Thanks for sharing!

  5. Michelle Heidenrich Barnes
    Michelle Heidenrich Barnes says:

    What a wonderful practice to treat yourself to a day (or a few) of slowing down to write haiku! It’s sad that I find slowing down so difficult. You really did such a beautiful job with these, Liz. My favorite is “snow field.”

  6. Carlie
    Carlie says:

    Wow to that one about the inchworm….Whew! And I like joyacey’s seed pod try! Good thought. Love haiku. So simple but so agonizingly laborious to make come out well.

  7. Bridget Magee
    Bridget Magee says:

    Wonderful haiku, Liz! I love this one best:
    “sending ripples
    through the clouds…
    water strider”
    Perfect imagery. And thank you for sharing the publications that accept haiku. I will look into these. = )

  8. Robyn Hood Black
    Robyn Hood Black says:

    Late to this party but of course I LOVE it and your thoughts and poems. Congratulations on the recent publications and recognitions! (I’m in ATL for the national quarterly HSA meeting as I write this!) :0)


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