Peace in Winter – Haiku

Peace maker Kurogane
Peace maker Kurogane

Over the wintry
forest, winds howl in rage
with no leaves to blow.

– Soseki

Haiku Poetry

Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry used to describe nature. It is particularly good when used to describe emotions in relation to the seasons. This hub contains haiku poems relating to winter weather.

The classic form of haiku poetry writing is thought to originate in 17th century Japan. There are examples of haiku poems published in Europe during the 18th century, but it was not until the late 20th century that writing poems as haiku became really popular worldwide.

The rules of writing modern haiku vary depending on the country. North American haiku are usually written as a three line poem with a total of 17 syllables. These are split so that the first line has five syllables, the second has seven and the third finishes with five syllables.

Snowflakes glitter on
the sidewalk, the sound of cars
swallowed by snowdrifts

Because Winter is Coming (Poetry by Boris Pasternak)

Happy Holidays
Blizzards were blowing everywhere
Throughout the land.
A candle burned upon the table,
A candle burned.

As midgets in the summer fly
Towards a flame,
The snowflakes from the yard swarmed to
The window pane.

And, on the glass, bright snowy rings
And arrows formed.
A candle burned upon the table,
A candle burned.

And on the white illumined ceiling
Shadow were cast,
As arms and legs and destinies
Fatefully crossed.

Two slippers fell on to the floor
With a light sound,
And waxen tears dripped from the candle
On to a gown.

No object in the misty whiteness
Could be discerned.
A candle burned upon the table,
A candle burned.

A mild draught coming from the corner
Blew on the candle,
Seduction’s heat raised two wings crosswise
As might an angel.

It snowed and snowed that February
All through the land.
A candle burned upon the table,
A candle burned.

1946. By Boris Pasternak. Translated by Alex Miller.