Haiku Poems

A haiku is a three-line Japanese poem that follows a syllable pattern of 5-7-5. They often deal with themes of nature and changing seasons. Two juxtaposed subjects are sometimes used, contrasted in some way. In English, writers often use dashes or colons. Learn more about the Haiku poetic form.

Below are examples of haiku poetry, analyzed and explained by the team at Poem Analysis, to fully appreciate the beauty of the Japanese poetic form.

A Poppy Blooms

‘A Poppy Blooms’ by Katsushika Hokusai is a thoughtful poem about writing. The poet uses a metaphor to depict how his process works.

After Killing a Spider

‘After Killing a Spider’ by Masaoka Shiki is a thoughtful poem. It describes the negative and dark effects of killing a spider.

After killing a spider by Masaoka Shiki

broken bowl

‘broken bowl’ by Penny Harter is a short and memorable haiku about a broken bowl. The poem uses three very short lines to describe its rocking pieces. 

broken bowl by Penny Harter Visual Representation

Everything I touch

‘Everything I touch’ by Kobayashi Issa is a beautiful Japanese haiku written by one of the four great haiku masters. This piece speaks on what one might receive in return when they reach out with tenderness.

everything i touch by Kobayashi Issa

In the moonlight

‘In pale moonlight’ by Yosa Buson is a Japanese haiku that depicts a night scene filled with the scent of wisteria.

In the moonlight by Yosa Buson Visual Representation

On the one-ton temple bell

‘On the one-ton temple bell’ by Taniguchi Buson is a beautiful haiku. It describes a moonmoth sleeping on a temple bell. 

On the one-ton temple bell by Taniguchi Buson Visual Representation

The Old Pond

‘The Old Pond’ is one of the best-known Japanese haiku of all time. This haiku consists of three phrases that contain the syllable count of 5-7-5.


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