Monday, January 7, 2013

Haiku Your Photos


A burst of splendor
Ripe sun turns full orange mango
Light drips down sky's chin

I love writing haiku. I'm no expert at it, but I find it fun to create haikus to go with my photos. Combining a haiku with a photo can really accentuate the emotion or feeling in the image for the viewer. Basically, haiku is like a snapshot moment, except it's captured with words instead of with an image. Loosely explained, it's three lines long and typically describes something with the seasons or in nature. The senses (touch, smell, sight, sound etc.) are used to describe the moment and to evoke an emotion. It is also typically written in the present tense, as if you're witnessing it in that very moment. You want the reader to feel as if they're standing beside you witnessing it, too. Haikus don't rhyme, so never feel the pressure to make that happen. Also, they shouldn't be written in first person.

There are many opinions and ideas about what haiku is, which I discovered when Googling this subject. But for myself I keep it very simple and use the 5/7/5 format (which many dispute, but this is simply for fun so I don't worry about it). With the 5/7/5 idea, your first line is five syllables, your second line is seven syllables, and your final and third line is five syllables. The challenge is to capture a moment in nature (or feelings of a season) in just those three lines, while also counting your syllables. It's kind of like putting a puzzle together...and there's always a thrill when you find that "final puzzle piece"! It's amazing how you can say so much with so little if you come up with the right words.

I took this image above with my iphone a couple days ago - the sunset in our back yard was so beautiful and this haiku I wrote matches up really well with the photo. I did bring the image into PSE and put it through Radlab to tweak the mood of it a bit.

I want to spread my love of poetry, so I'll occasionally post about all things poetic this year...poetry doesn't appeal to everyone, but maybe I'll spark a love for poetry writing in at least one other person during 2013. That would make me happy. :)


  1. Beautiful photo and haiku. I would not be any good at writing those.

  2. My husband love Haiku . . . I've tried it a couple of times and it is fun, I need to try it some more! And you're right, I think it's the perfect compliment to a photograph!!

  3. I have a lot of adiration for those who can haiku well. I, myself, have never been able to.

    Happy New Year, Sherri!

  4. I love your haiku Sherri. So full of feeling in 3 lines.

  5. Wonderful image, wonderful words, Sherri. You really are an inspiration to so many and I do hope you keep posting poetry, as often as you like!

    I love the idea of haiku with photos. I tried to do a year of haiku once but didn't make it. I think that's a good project though, for some year in the future, maybe.

    Wishing you the very best year ahead. I know you will be brightening the lives of all who visit here. :)


  6. Beautiful Haiku Sherri! I love how you have likened the sun to a mango. Perfect! I look forward to reading more of your poetry this year. I am such a big fan :)

  7. love it the photo and the words
    soooo inspiring