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A haiku must be/more than just a seventeen/syllable sentence. The previous sentence is not a proper haiku in my opinion. I've mentioned the formal rules before, but I'll reiterate them here: A proper haiku is a poem, about nature without mention of people or our artifacts, with a reference to time or season. In other words, it evokes an image of nature in the reader's mind. A common (perhaps even necessary) feature is a break, a change in focus or action.

The dawn breaks over
the empty, snowy prairie.
A meercat pops up.

Can you see that in your minds eye?

The 5-7-5 rule technically applies to the Japanese mora in the poem, and is much more restrictive than 5-7-5 syllables in English. Not all Japanese haiku keeps to the 5-7-5 pattern, and translations of Japanese Haiku into English rarely attempt to force the English into 5-7-5, but it's standard for English-language haiku. The rule keeps it short, and also establishes a rhythm. I would not be satisfied with writing a haiku which split a word across two lines; I even prefer to keep grammatical constructs together.

Most of what I write as "haiku" is really senryu, a related poetical form which relates to people and society rather than purely nature. Humans, machines, cities, buildings, roads, all can exist in senryu.

Like ebon scarabs,
the taxis carry tourists
through Trafalgar Square.

(Or should that have been "Like black dung beetles"? You tell me.)

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Beetles vs scarabs rather depend on the mood you wish to create. If you'd like London to appear dingy, beetles it is; if you'd like it to be busy but exotic, you're good with scarabs.

Incidentally, I'm glad you're aware that your haikus aren't - I've not been wanting to go pedantic all over your project, but it made me twitch every time you called a senryu a haiku.

There are a lot of areas where my haikus fail from the traditional ideal, the haiku/senryu distinction being just one of them.

I've tried the "haiku-a-day" thing before in LJ, and I think that for a time with it I went as far as to post both a haiku and a senryu each day.

I'm not sure that English ever makes a distinction between two types of poetry similar in form but different in theme. We call a 14-line love poem of 3 quatrains and a couplet a "sonnet", but we'd apply the same name to a 14-line death poem also in 3 quatrains and a couplet. Limericks can be profane or sacred, villanelles serious or scurrilous, rondels rapacious or restful. Is it any wonder that when haiku entered into the conciousness of English-speakers the subtlety of subject matter was lost?

Well, odes are pretty definitively praise-related, and epigrams are generally expected to be witty, but of it's off-topic, we don't call it something else, we just don't think of it as belonging to the form.

I'd be far more impressed with a limeric-a-day challenge. I'd be _very_ impressed with a double-dactyl-a-day one. (In fact, maybe I should take that up.)

I think while I was in college I once took up a challenge of writing double-acrostic brick-text on a regular basis, but that's a form that translates poorly to the proportional-font nature of today's social networking experience.

(Deleted comment)
some years ago at P**T***, i participated in a workshop on Drawing Down. the handout for the workshop contained, in a footnote, a joking reference to the impossibility of writing a personal invocation in the form of a sestina. so, of course, i wrote one.

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