Haiku Tip #2 Editing


You have just written what you feel is the best haiku you can. Now, what do you do?
Sometimes I jump right into tearing it apart, turning it over and seeing what I can improve upon. Other times I will let it sit for months and revisit it when I have forgotten what I was trying to do and see if the haiku rekindles my memory.

In the research (see
sources for some) I have collected a few tips that one should keep in mind while attempting to edit their haiku.

Editing Questions

  1. Does my haiku engage the senses?
    Perhaps even more than one? (see posting on Synesthesia)
  2. Do I have only what is essential?
  3. Is my order of perception clear? (see posting on Order of Perception)
  4. Do I have a Kigo (season word)
  5. Did I have more than one event/moment in my haiku?
  6. Are my images clear to the reader?
  7. Did I properly punctuate my haiku? (stay tuned for upcoming posting)
  8. Are there any typos or auto-corrects?
  9. Did I keep my haiku brief enough? (stay tuned for upcoming posting)

Of course there are many other questions you can ask yourself and perhaps you, my dear reader, can add to it in the comments. I will of course add to this later and will elucidate them individually too at a later date.

Blyth, R.H: History of Haiku 1964
Gurga, Lee: Haiku: A Poets Guide Modern Haiku Press, 2003
Higginson, William: The Haiku Handbook: How to Write, Share, and Teach Haiku McGraw-Hill, 1985

7 responses »

  1. Here are my own rules:

    1. There really are no rules.
    2. However, there are rules.
    3. Learn how to refrain from writing haiku.
    4. If a moment comes, write a haiku.
    5. If tempted to edit, ask yourself how easy it would be to alter brush-strokes in ink on white paper.
    6. Never forget that more time has been wasted talking/thinking/worrying about haiku than has ever been usefully expended on writing haiku.

    If you enjoy haiku, please feel free to visit ‘the zen space’ http://thezenspace.wordpress.com

    Marie Marshall

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