American Haiku: introduction

American Haiku Glossary

poem: words thrown together with intent.

haiku: not what they taught us in school.

kigo: an indication of season.

kiriji: a cutting word used to change direction or make an emphasis.

5-7-5: a common interpretation of a haiku’s syllable pattern, which does not take into account the difference between syllables in Japanese and English.

12/13: the syllables some poets aim for when writing a haiku.

<17: the syllables most poets use as a guideline when writing a haiku.

senryu: uses the same syllable pattern as a haiku, but concerns itself more with wit and dark humor than with the poet’s relationship to nature.

Basho: maybe the most famous poet to write haikus.

American Haiku: bastard dissident love child of the haiku and senryu, which follows few rules, drinks a bit too much, and wanders in search of the next great adventure.


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