Selected Haiku

Visar Dida

Global Haiku Tradition
Millikin University, Summer 2001

What is a good Haiku?

I will start from the beginning of Japanese haiku tradition of the 5-7-5 pattern, which I think does not apply in American haiku for the most part, and I do not agree that it should, but that rule does set the medium of a haiku that it should not be excide to much or the opposite. The same goes for the three-line rule.

About the seasonal word that a traditional haiku should have I would agree for the most part since haiku is about capturing the moment, and nature has a big part on our lives, but there are times (moments) that do not contain seasonal words and are excellent.

A lot of how we judge haiku is if we relate to it more than another, but that does not mean that those haiku we don’t relate to are necessarily poor. Someone else might relate more to those haiku that we did not think as of being a good haiku. Being open minded helps in judging and selecting better haiku’s.

Another point I would like to focus is the power of the moment expressed in haiku, which could be a great or one of the worst moments in someone’s life. We are not interested in good moments only, we want to understand others and their experiences whatever they are, that is why war-haiku is so important. This is one of the best ways to understand people, their good and bad moments and this is a great approach to understand what other less unfortunate go through.

clear black sky
lying on the grass
counting summer stars



one foot here,
arms around my waist
the new dance

drinking beer
near the waterfall,
he needs to go



dark summer night . . .
all alone
with my homework

(Illinois Times, June 28, 2001)

sun in my face-
weary eyes closed-
the scent of fresh grass



~ Kosova Haiku ~


crowd on a winter street,
sound of a firearm—
no reaction

Macedonia, refugee camp

the hungry mob
grabbing food,
the family waits to be fed


behind barbed wires,
trying to find out
of the loved ones

©2001 Randy Brooks, Millikin University, Decatur, Illinois || all rights reserved for original authors