Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Challenge: H is for Haiku, Haibun, and Heroic Couplets

Actually, in honor of National Poetry Month and all those who are also doing NaPoWriMo, my H is for Haibun, Haiku, Hamd, Heroic Couplets, and Hybronnet.

I will admit that Haiku was the original word. But as I did a little looking around, looking for something entertaining to write about Haiku, I discovered the other types of poetry which begin with the letter H. I will also admit that I've never heard of two of the styles of poems and another one I think I've heard mentioned, but would have had no idea what it meant.

I hopped over to Poetry Soup to read up on these H poetry forms:


Japanese form, pioneered by the poet Basho, and comprising a section of prose followed by haiku. They are frequently travelogues - as in Basho's The Records of a Travel-Worn Satchel (1688). In the best examples, the prose and haiku should work together to create an organic whole.

A Japanese poem composed of three unrhymed lines of five, seven, and five moras (a unit of sound that determines syllable weight in some languages) respectively, usually about some form of nature. Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables,[2] this is inaccurate as syllables and moras are not the same. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference), and a kireji (cutting word).[3] In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line and tend to take aspects of the natural world as their subject matter, while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku and may deal with any subject matter.

Hamd is a poem in praise of Allah. The word "hamd" is derived from the Qur'an, its English translation is "Praise".

Heroic Couplet
A traditional form for English poetry, commonly used for epic and narrative poetry; it refers to poems constructed from a sequence of rhyming pairs of iambic pentameter lines.

The form name is derived from hybrid and sonnet.

This form is an offspring of a sonnet; that is to say that it must consist of fourteen lines; each line must be octal syllabic, does not necessarily have to be iambic although it can be if desired, and the rhyme scheme can be ABABCDCDEFEFGG, couplet rhyme, or other acceptable schemes, allowing the poet more latitude to work with, and finally, the end rhyme can be a combination of rhymes (masculine, feminine, slant, etc.) or used anyway the poet deems appropriate.

Now, if I were really on top of things, I'd write out examples of each one and post them here, as well. But I haven't done that. So I'll leave it to you to look them up.

I do recommend clicking over to Poetry Soup and reading their example of a Bosho Haibun. I like it.

H is for more than just Haiku!


  1. I love Haiku. I submitted some of mine to a literary magazine ( three lines of 5-7-5) and the rejection said that format was obsolete/outdated. I felt like an idiot! Here's the link if you'd like to give it a try.

    1. No need to feel like an idiot. Traditional haiku is still made up of 17 "on". The journal lists itself as publishing "contemporary English-language haiku" so maybe they're not looking for traditional format -- just a guess ;-) .

      And I have read that the meter of 5-7-5 is measured differently in Japanese than English. So there is that format - but in Japanese it's more of a concept or different sense than our "syllable" measure.

      Yes - haiku is a very old form. Nothing wrong with that!

      Good luck with your writing. There are other publications which publish more traditional formats. Don't give up :-)

      And thank you for coming by.

  2. Nice post! I LOVE Haiku. Way back when, my grade school class wrote a Haiki together.

    Crickets like to eat
    Unharvested corn and wheat
    On a nice cool day.

    I've never forgotten it!

  3. Fun, ROcky! Thank you for sharing and how cool that you remember it.