About Haiku News

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ABOUT “HAIKU NEWS”

Welcome to the Haiku News, the weekly newspaper written in the Japanese poetic form of haiku. Every Monday the Haiku News team will bring you news stories from around the world compacted into just three short lines. Above each poem you will find a headline which links to on-line coverage of the story that inspired the poem, meaning that if it is of interest, you can go on to read all about it. We are also currently looking for submissions.

Although most news stories will appear as haiku, some will be in the style of senryu, tanka and kyoka (three related short Japanese poetic forms) when suitable. Since each form is equipped to deal with different subject matter, the content of the news article will determine for the poet whether the poem takes the form of haiku, senryu, tanka or kyoka.

In late 2012 we published our first anthology, collecting together the best poetry from the site posted between 2009-2011, released by independent New Zealand press Lawrence & Gibson. As of February 2013 we are pleased to announce a podcast feature, presenting interviews with haiku poets from around the world about their practice and haiku’s usefulness in addressing sociopolitical events and issues. Find out more.

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A NOTE ON HAIKU

In the West haiku are commonly thought of as a three-line poem with 5 syllables on the first line, 7 syllables on the second and 5 syllables on the third (5-7-5). However, among the community of Western haiku poets and haiku journals, this form has been abandoned (and with good reason). The modern English haiku is usually a three-line poem, sometimes with the first and third lines shorter than the second (but not always). Rather than having a set rhythmic form, the (post)modern haiku can be better defined by the structures it uses.

One of the central structures of haiku is the juxtaposition of one “image” (taking up one-line) with another “image” (taking up two-lines). From these two elements meaning is created between the two images, in the spaces between words, in what is not said rather than what is said. Haiku poetry relies on the reader to contemplate the two images and “unfold” them, rather than simply “read” them. Because the haiku often relies on juxtaposition are there are usually a multiplicity of potential meanings which could be taken from the poem, and the reader plays a part in creating their own “meaning” from the poem. A good haiku will make of the reader a poet, while still relating a deeply private and personal experience.

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world hunger report
I turn the potatoes
a second time

(Laurence Stacey)

earthquake over
the spider rebuilds
its web

(Dick Whyte)

workers
deep in conversation…
the muddy river

(Neal Whitman)

spring moon
moving closer
to a war

(Claire Everett)

twilight…
an egrets silhouette
between wolds

(Terry O’Connor)

god particle…
she rolls a snowballs
downhill

(Laryalee Fraser)

and now…
the weight of a
thousand leaves

(Robert D. Wilson)

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