Posted in Writing

How to write a Haiku Poem in English Form

There are various forms of Haiku poetry. I am only going to discuss the style I use, which is How to write a Haiku Poem in English Form.

Four things to remember:

  • You have three lines of poetry.
  • 17 total syllables, some say sounds, in the 5/7/5 pattern.
  • You normally tell two opposite images in the poem.
  • Lines one and two should read as a complete sentence and lines two and three should read as a complete sentence.

Notice the word normally. You can have the poem be about aspects of the same thing, but normally you look at it from to different ways.

This is a very quick and not great example, but it shows you what I mean.

The tree is falling, (5 syllables)

Down among the river rocks, (7 syllables)

Fish bring forth new life. (5 syllables)

Lines one and two read as: The tree is falling down among the river rocks.

Lines two and three read as: Down among the river rocks, fish bring forth new life.

  1. The tree is falling and dying among the rocks of the river
  2. And fish are living and bring life among the rocks of the river
  3. Two opposite things happening.

Opposites are not a MUST, but are the true way of Haiku and add to the challenge. Do not let that prevent you from writing. 

Matsuo Bashō Statue Haiku

As Matsuo Bashō put it,

“The haiku that reveals seventy to

eighty percent of its subject is good.

Those that reveal fifty to sixty percent,

we never tire of.”


My Haiku reveals 100%.

 The tree is falling,

Down among the river rocks,

Fish bring forth new life.


Can we take my first Haiku and make it fifty to sixty percent?


Life splinters apart,

Down among slippery mounds,

Life brings forth new life.


In this new version the same thing is said, but also leaves some interpretation to the reader, which in a way I like to do for the reader. Give the reader something they can connect with in their own way.

That is the basic way of doing the Haiku that I do. It is fun, challenging, and an art. I am not saying I am an artist, but I do believe those who can do it well are. I am still a finger painter in this world, but I enjoy staining my fingers in the ink.

For other types of Haiku click and read-Haiku, Tanka, and Haibun. It’s all poetry to me. Learn the difference.

To learn Freku, which I came up with, click and read-NEW FORM of Haiku & Poetry.

For examples of my own Haiku offerings click here and you will leave this page.

For a weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge I host which includes a Weekly Review of all Participants click here and you will leave this page. Once on the next page you will need to select the current week’s challenge.

Much Respect



Copyright-All rights 02, 2014.



Ronovan Hester is an author, with a debut historical adventure novel Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling now on available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. "5.0 out of 5 stars: Now, I want to warn you… this is not your typical pirate tale! It’s BETTER!" "5.0 out of 5 stars: Totally unpredictable and a real gem of a discovery - Highly Recommended" "5.0 out of 5 stars: An action packed journey to piracy and revenge – all in the name of the crown, queen and county – set in 1705." He shares his life of problems and triumphs through his blog His love of writing, authors and community through his online world has led to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge, Weekly Fiction Prompt Challenge, and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as

233 thoughts on “How to write a Haiku Poem in English Form

  1. Great article. I started writing haiku’s because of you. There not terribly good, but they are fun.


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  3. Wow, I had never (or don’t recall) being taught/reading the “right” way to write a haiku; I only remember the 5-7-5 rule and that its “usually” about nature in some fashion. This does, indeed, add a whole new aspect to the challenges for me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the way but with the challenge the way is without a way.
      “using no way as way, having no limitation as limitation”~Bruce Lee, Poet.

      You know the ways, but by knowing many ways you are freed to find your way that will best achieve your goal.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the read. Interesting. Nice to know I can use 5-7-5 if I wish to. Especially if I am using syllables/sounds properly. Also, nice to know people have opinions about Haiku that differ from others, as well as those that enter my contest who do 3-5-3 and actually random syllable/sound counting that have no rhyme or reason.


      1. Please remember that 5-7-5 is actually a violation of what they count in Japanese (which isn’t syllables), not a preservation of the Japanese form, despite widespread popular belief and misguided school textbooks. I doubt you’ve had a chance to read very much at what is linked to on the page I sent you, so I encourage you to research the issue more. At the very least, I encourage you to make sure the haiku you write hit the other necessary targets and aren’t just counting syllables — if you choose to insist on that. Also, the word “haiku” isn’t a proper noun, so it’s not capitalized. And what do you mean by “using syllables/sounds properly?


        1. You know, I was being polite with my previous response. Please don’t continue. You attempting to enforce your thoughts on my take on Haiku won’t work. We enjoy doing Haiku this way. Please refrain from attempted badgering.

          Liked by 1 person

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