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What is a Haiku Poem?

A haiku poem is a Japanese poem which can also be known as a hokku. A haiku poem is similar to a tanka but has fewer lines. A haiku is a type of poetry that can be written on many themes, from love to nature.

What is the Structure of a Haiku Poem?

A haiku consists of 3 lines and 17 syllables.

Each line has a set number of syllables see below:

Line 1 – 5 syllables
Line 2 – 7 syllables
Line 3 – 5 syllables

An Example of a Haiku Poem

The sky is so blue. 5
The sun is so warm up high. 7
I love the summer. 5

Haiku poems don't need to rhyme, but for more of a challenge some poets try to rhyme lines 1 and 3.

Examples of Rhyming Haiku Poems

I really like toast. 5
It is yummy when it's hot. 7
Cold I like it most. 5

Beans are kind to hearts. 5
I like to eat them daily. 7
And then do big farts! 5

Why don't you try writing a haiku poem or a rhyming haiku and enter it into one of our poetry competitions.

For information on poetry types other than a haiku visit our poetry glossary – poetry types.

Poetry Types

Acrostic Epigram Lyric Shakespearean Sonnet
Ballad Free verse Ottava rima Sonnet
Ballade Haiku Pantoum Tanka Poem
Blank verse Horatian Ode Pindaric Ode Terza rima
Cinquain Irregular Ode Riddle Tetractys
Diamante Kennings Rondeau Triolet
Echo Verse Kyrielle Senryu Tyburn
Epic Limerick Shape Poem  
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