My own Haiku poems


Haiku. The most lyrical blank verse bursting with the song of utterly simple beauty and philosophy. Seventeen syllables, three lines of pure, evocative magic.

That’s the beauty of Japanese Haiku — earlier called Hokku — the beautiful verse form that once  was just, as Wikipedia describes it, “…the opening stanza of an orthodox collaborative linked poem, or  renga, and of its later derivative, renku (or haikai no renga). By the time of Matsuo Basho  (1644–1694), the hokku had begun to appear as an independent poem, and was also incorporated in haibun (a combination of prose and hokku), and haiga (a combination of painting with hokku).”

OK, my space here is not about a treatise on the origins and history of Haiku. For that, in my opinion, you couldn’t do better than visit the Haiku section on Wikepedia .

This space here is for a very personal indulgence: to share with you my own little creations of Haiku… freezings of a single thought or emotion or an observation on life. The last was never the reason for putting pen to paper – invariably, it seemed to emerge from the short poems only in retrospect.

A moment, a feeling, an abstract frozen into palpable, physically evocative experience. That’s the magic of Japanese Haiku. ‘Sensuous’ is the word. ‘Evocative’, too.

My Haiku poems

So here’re some of  my own little moments of inspiration. My own little pieces of Haiku.  Do share yours too.

A FRIGHTENED DEWDROP
PERCHED PRECARIOUSLY,
CLINGS TO THE PETAL

Haiku-by-Pavan R Chawla

………………………

CURLING, FRAIL SMOKE-WISP,
STRAINING TO HOLD FORM UNDER
HEAVY WINTER FOG

………………………

Haiku-poem-by-Pavan R Chawla

FOR LOVE, MOTHER CROW
TEARS A BABY SPARROW TO
FEED HER YOUNG.

………………………

LIKE A SOFT PUPPY
GAMBOLLING ON GRASS, MISCHIEF
SHINES IN MY SON’S EYES!

………………………

Haiku-Poem-By-PavanRChawla

BAREFOOT, HE PUSHES
ON HOT, MELTING TARMAC, A
RUBBER-WHEELED CART.

………………………

ITS BIG EYES PUZZLED,
A HUNGRY CALF WATCHES ITS
MOTHER BEING MILKED

………………………

IMPOSSIBLE: LIKE
TRYING TO EXPLAIN COLOUR
TO A MAN BORN BLIND

………………………

CAUGHT IN THE FINAL
GROTESQUE SPASM OF DEATH, THIS
RIGID TREE IN DROUGHT

………………………

So those were just a few Haiku poems. I’ll share more too, and I hope you’ve liked these enough to consider that a promise and not a threat!

Do share feedback, please, and better still, your own Haiku creations; that would be a truly personal and therefore cherished gift to us all. After all, what could be more personal than a tiny moment of your consciousness, frozen into three lines of 17 syllables… your very own Haiku? I await your creations. Thanks!

Some great Haiku books

Some of the best books on Haiku for non-Japanese readers, that help you savour what to me is the most ‘lyrical’ blank verse bursting with the song of utterly simple beauty and hilosophy, are the slim little hard-bound books full of Haiku gems.

Get the Peter Pauper Press series on Haiku – I bought them off the Mumbai pavements at Fountain years ago. Some of the titles I’ve lingered on over the years are the two series: The Four Seasons, and Cherry Blossoms. Also, the simply titled Japanese Haiku – all translated by Peter Beilensen. These books feature translations of some of the best masters of Haiku, notable amongst them – Matsuo Basho, Yosa Buson, Kobayashi Ishi, Masaoka Shiki, and others. In fact, you can find one of Peter Beilenson’s Peter Pauper translations on Scribd.com too.


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