KidPoWriMo Day 3 ~ Haiku? Nice to meet you!

After I published my Day 2 post, my phone started to percolate with e-mail notices that people were liking or following KidPoWriMo. A few also commented or re-tweeted my posts of the Day 2 link. On Google+, 8 people joined in just a few hours.

Now that we have reached Day 3, please know that anyone may start at any time during the month and do any challenge in any order. If you are inspired to Day 2 on Day 4, go right ahead.


When introduced to haiku, especially in elementary school, we learn to count our syllables. We create a poem by writing a five syllable line, then a seven syllable line, followed by another line with five syllables while avoiding rhyme. Then, before sharing the haiku, we count the syllables in the finished poem to make sure they add up to 17. And while listening to others share their haiku, we count their syllables, too. I know you have done it. I have, too.

Poetic Word of the Day: “HAIKU” (click here to see the definition in

When you look up the word “haiku” in any English Dictionary, you will find something like this definition. Many haiku poets are committed to 17 syllables and the 5-7-5 arrangement of syllables. Since this form of poetry originated in the Japanese language, many haiku are translated for those who read and speak other languages to enjoy. Many attempts have been made also to translate the rules of making haiku to other languages.

Unfortunately, some rules of the Japanese language do not translate well to other languages, like English. What poets in America understand about haiku likely came from someone’s interpretation or best guess at how Japanese haiku might work in English.

People’s  ideas about English haiku vary. Some of them disagree about whether 17 syllable haiku should be the rule. One of the reasons for this is that an English haiku has more information in 17 syllables. Its Japanese translation would be a much larger poem, if it contained the same message. Because of this, some poets think English haiku should be shorter: much less than 17 syllables.

Because I think 17 syllable haiku is just as valid as other, shorter kinds, this month, we will write haiku in different ways, on different days. For our first KidPoWriMo haiku, we will use the most popular, basic and familiar approach to building haiku in English.

PROMPT: Write a 17 syllable haiku about something in nature. Do your best to put 5 syllables in the first line, 7 in the second line and 5 in the third line. If you have trouble with the 5-7-5 format, work on making your syllables add up to 17.

Twitter is a popular place for haiku because it is nearly impossible to exceed the 140 character limit when writing 17 syllables. If you have a Twitter account, type #haiku in the search bar to see what people are writing. Literally, thousands of haiku are posted to Twitter every week. You can find two very active haiku communities on Google+ and lots of haiku groups on Facebook. And I am one of the countless poet/bloggers who are writing one haiku per day and posting them on-line.

FOR PARENTS WITH YOUNGER CHILDREN: Find some haiku you like and read them with (or to) your child(ren). If you do not own any haiku books, you may find haiku for free at any of the following places:

– public library

– search on your favorite search engine using keywords: free, haiku, poetry, children

– check your favorite on-line bookstore for free sample previews of books of haiku

– search on wordpress, blogger, tumblr, or your favorite blogging site. Many hundreds post haiku on these sites everyday. My haiku may be found organized individually on Blogger (click here), and organized in weekly groupings on WordPress (click here), if you are interested.

Thanks for joining me for our first haiku day of the month. I look forward to reading your poems.


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