What to Avoid When Writing a Haiku?

Even while haiku appears like a straightforward form, it may be challenging to write one that is compelling, memorable, as well as strong. Beginners frequently write haiku errors due to the haiku’s seeming simplicity and ease. They disregard convention or merely employ the structure to communicate their feelings.

The main rules of haiku are shown below in this article to help you understand better. These errors are typically the result of placing too much focus on expressing and not enough on sharing. To see if you’re making any of these mistakes in your haiku, review this list of don’ts.

What exactly is a haiku?

A haiku, also known as a hokku, is a brief poem that is essentially identical to a tanka but is written in Japanese. A haiku is generally a poem that employs a few words to discuss a topic and successfully conjure an image in the reader’s head.

A haiku might be thought of as quite a small window offering a glimpse of a huge area. This kind of poetry can be used to highlight a variety of themes, from love to the natural world. Children’s poetry can also be written in haiku, particularly in the “What I am” style. For instance:

“Green and speckled legs,

Hop on logs and lily pads

Splash in cool water”

A haiku has a fairly easy structure, consisting of just three lines with a sum of 17 syllables. Since the second line is composed of only seven syllables, the first, as well as last lines both comprise 12 syllables. It is not necessary for the lines of a haiku to rhyme, but many skilled poets attempt to do so to demonstrate their talent. 

How well do you write haiku poems?

The majority of haikus are motivated by a memorable event, nature, and perhaps even beauty. You must thoroughly brainstorm your ideas to compose a decent haiku because you must comprehend the subject matter well.

When composing the haiku, you must be sure to include the most compelling elements that will inspire the reader with vivid images. After that, make sure your haiku is refined by reading it repeatedly or sharing it with other accomplished poets. We’ll give you a step-by-step tutorial on how to write a haiku successfully.

1. Decide on a topic

You must have a subject in mind prior to starting to compose a haiku. As was already noted, many of the haikus are encouraged by nature. However, you are not confined to utilizing only natural themes; you can also consider other themes.

Looking at the topics or knowledge you are most passionate about is the greatest place to begin this search. You can talk about your pet, your favorite clothing brand, or perhaps even love in your writing. Being imaginative is all that’s meant here.

2. Explore the topic

Once you’ve decided on a topic, you, therefore, need to question yourself, “What’s the objective of writing about this?” What characteristics of the topic are appealing?

This will allow you to put a twist to the poem plus leave your readers with some room for thought. In addition, for instance, you may describe how a team of football was struggling in the game season but overcame it to succeed in the playoffs.

3.  Composing the haiku

You must now record your ideas on paper. You must stick to the advice mentioned under after carefully researching your topic and determining that it is the subject you would like to compose about.

  • Recognize the haiku form

Haikus follow a detailed format, just like various other kinds of poetry. A haiku only consists of 3 lines as well as 17 syllables, and it is structured utilizing the 5-7-5 pattern. Only five syllables must be employed in the 1st line, 7 in the second, as well as 5 in the last line. In total, there are 17 syllables exactly.

When you’ve conquered the syllable restriction, you’re done. You shouldn’t bother about the rhyming scheme when writing a haiku; instead, concentrate just on the 5-7-5 syllable structure.

  • Describe your subject in terms of its senses

Haikus must truly provide the reader with a quick emotion of the topic, primarily from the senses. You ought to have contemplated the topic’s taste, aroma, appearance, feel, as well as sound when doing your analysis.

To provide your readers with that sense as well as leave the readers with a mental portrayal, you need to write about the topic in such a manner that they feel in query is put out effectively.

  • You should write a haiku in the present tense

Your haiku will have a feeling of urgency if you employ the present tense. Besides, it encourages you to create consecutive lines that are uncomplicated to read as well as absorb.

  • Have a shock at the end

A wonderful haiku have to give the audience some room for thought. Make sure your last line is amusing and will make the reader left with a lot of unanswered queries. When the person discovers what the poem is truly about, he or she should certainly be thinking as well as being startled.

What you should avoid doing in haiku

1. Never use a haiku to convey a concept, a tale, or a feeling

Beginning haiku poets frequently utilize haiku as a smart and condensed means of expressing their ideas and feelings or of describing a narrative or idea. They view haiku as a concise approach to conveying a complex idea. Take a look at this poetry, for instance:

“And he was perfect.

Makes me smile, giddy, and happy.

He was never mine.”

This poetry emphasizes an unrequited love by concentrating solely on the poet’s thoughts and feelings toward another person. The poetry itself lacks intrigue because it doesn’t allow much room for the imagination, despite the possibility that the topic is intriguing.

2. Avoid using direct speech figures.

Another error made by new poets is to transfer literary elements from other forms into the haiku. Using a figure of speech in a haiku is the riskiest option.

Any term or phrase that employs language in a non-literal manner, such as metaphors, similes, and hyperboles, is known as a figure of speech. Figures of speech can be divided into two categories: direct and indirect.

When used correctly, direct figures of speech capture the reader’s imagination. The reader concentrates on the figure of speech when reading it.

Using direct figures of speech in a haiku can be problematic since they cause the reader to reflect intellectually on the relationship between the poem’s various imagery, which prevents them from seeing the experience the poem is sharing.

3. Avoid using language that is vague, unclear, challenging, or lengthy

Some of the errors made by beginners are; using words that are either complex or uninspiring to express an experience, and expressing something that is both complex and ambiguous in a haiku. In any case, confusion is frequently the outcome.


I hope this article helped you learn more about a haiku, how to write it as well as the common mistakes that you must avoid when writing. Writing a haiku is not as complicated as you might think it is, especially when you know all the important elements of it.