Poems About Haiku

The following selected poems explore nuances of haiku aesthetics or haiku history, and provide an alternate way into haiku as a genre of literature. They are all about haiku in one way or another, or connected to haiku. A few are not much more than jokes (and sometimes even misunderstand haiku), but most of them are serious, mostly written by poets other than me (for other favourite poems, see also Poems by Others). I’ve arranged these poems by category, and then alphabetically by each poet’s last name. You can also read selections of my own haiku and senryu as well as longer poems. Enjoy, and please let me know if you know of other poems about haiku!

Reading and Writing Haiku

These poems speak of haiku aesthetics or techniques, or simply reading and writing this poetry.


Bashō


Chiyo-ni, Buson, and Shiki

We clearly need more haiku written about Chiyo-ni, Buson, and Shiki.


Issa


About Haiku

These poems typically do not mention haiku at all, but may be considered to be about haiku to the extent that they present values and perspectives in keeping with a haiku spirit and practice.


Miscellaneous

These poems talk about haiku and haiku-related subjects, doing more than merely mentioning haiku.


Mentioning Haiku

These poems typically just mention haiku (or hokku), which may be seen as an act of respect and appreciation.

Holding Radium [excerpt] — Diane Ackerman

[untitled] — Richard Aldington

I Found a Geophysicist — Christopher Arigo

[Rain that Imitates Anne Waldman] — John Burgess [poem starts at 6:00-minute mark in video]

The Library of T-shirts — joanne burns

More Than a Moment Ago — John Bigler Crow

Figures — John Elsberg and Eric Greinke

A Haiku for Mars — Nikki Giovanni

With Only a Vague Outline [excerpt] — Jeff Hardin

Songs to Survive the Summer [excerpt] — Robert Hass

Near Miss Haiku — Anselm Hollo

Haiku Corner: On Charlie Rose — Garrison Keillor

Haiku — Elizabeth Kirschner

Confectionery Text — J. I. Kleinberg

The Meaning of a Sign — J. I. Kleinberg

To Paint the Written — J. I. Kleinberg

Putative Poem from Samurai Era — Bill Knott

Japan — Rudi Krausmanm

The ABZs of Poetry — Noelle Levy

Rentrement of Compulsion — L. W. Lindquist

Rules for Poetry — Rick Lupert

Rock Climbing with Snyder — Billy Marshall-Stoneking

Not an Ode to Haiku — Marlene Mountain

Being Born, Then Dying — Elizabeth Oakes

Haiku — Ron Padgett

Letter to Toyota — Geoff Page

Impossible to Tell — Robert Pinsky

The Perfect Haiku — William M. Ramsey

Negation — Philip Salom

[untitled] — Nick Smith

On the Circuit — Vivian Smith

Amorphous Me — Naomi Beth Wakan

An Organised Life — Naomi Beth Wakan

Brevity — Judith Wright

Changing Genres — Dean Young

Three Poems — Andrea Zanzotto


For Fun

These poems offer jokes or humour relating to haiku, or about haiku.


Metaku

These poems seek to define haiku by trying to be haiku about haiku, all too often with misunderstandings of haiku. The Ron Padgett poem, however, is intentionally ironic. +


Parodies

These poems offer haiku-related parodies of songs or other existing texts, for a bit of fun.


Note: If you know of other poems about haiku, please contact Michael Dylan Welch—thanks!