Haiku is a type of poetry developed in Japan over 300 years ago. Traditional haiku originated out of haikai-no-renga, or comic linked poem. In haikai-no-renga, poets created poems together in a type of pass-around image game. On their way to these parties, the players would each write a hokku, or starting verse, to begin the game. These hokku began to be collected (outside of the game) and became the first haiku.
Haiku are usually short enough to be said in just one breath. An entire haiku poem is made up of only 17 syllables, divided into three lines or clumps. Approximated in English, a haiku can be broken up in the following way:
The Danube River
silent passerby (5 syllables)
you forget how old she is (7 syllables)
going to the sea (5 syllables)
While there are different ways of writing haiku, the first step is noticing what is going on around us. For centuries, haiku poets have been using vivid images to celebrate the tiny moments that happen to us each and every day.
Why Write a Haiku Travel Blog?
One thing that often gets lost in the travel guidebooks is the tiny moments that make up the experience of living and traveling in another country. I decided to explore where I was traveling 17 syllables at a time to celebrate the humorous, interesting, and striking things I discovered. Although there’s many different ways of writing haiku, I like sticking to the 5-7-5 syllable count that I learned in 5th grade because I enjoy the challenges of this structure. Sure, it’s not the haiku that was developed 300 years ago but it has been a fun exercise to notice the things around me.
If you have a travel haiku you want to share or just to drop me a line about the haiku travel blog, you can reach me at: torran (dot) ian (dot) anderson (at) gmail (dot) com.