Haiku You

Last week, we read nine haiku by the famous 18th-19th century Japanese poet, Kobayashi Issa, as translated by Robert Hass. Some students were familiar with the form, but since most were not, after reading the poems in succession I asked if anything was common between them? Animals or creatures appear in six of the nine (spider, cat, mosquito, snail, insects), and many if not all take place outdoors. Each haiku also has three lines. I talked a bit about the history of the form, and its common use of 5-7-5 syllables in English, then asked if Hass’ translation followed the form? None of the nine haiku did, and I suggested that the 5-7-5 pattern was not as important as expressing as much as you can in the fewest words possible.

The prompt this time was to write one or more haiku. I stressed that counting out the syllables was not necessary, but encouraged students to stick to three or four lines. As we had extra time, I suggested writing more than a single haiku, and in some cases students wrote “suites” that I felt worked best together. Below are a variety from each class.

Ms. Ellis
Room 221

Gamar A.

A mosquito
bites — it feels
like a rash

Ryan B.

I have
a boat

it can

we can
ride it

My Favorite Dog
Henry D.

Ah important dog
It is outside now
It came back in

look out
Jamarri J.

I see a big
bug it will
eat all of us run

Pascale L.

Ms. Stacy Ellis
is really nice to me
I learn a lot!

Sophia L.

I say don’t worry
dolphins I will keep your sea shell
safe in my boat as I sail the boat.

Zachary R.

I ate
an ant
in my teeth.

Justin S.

My friend Jarvis we see
each other play together
we play football at school

Gabrielle S.

Mud is traveling all around —
My new shoes — are getting dirty —
I’m having lots of fun!

Ma and My Dog
Karis W.

My dog plays with me.

Me and my dog go to sleep.

Me and my dog run.

Mrs. Beaudry
Room 217

Ellyss D.

Look there mouse
friend look high and look

Skye F.

Some apples are sweet
some apples are real sour
all different types

Nathalia G.

Don’t worry, girls,
you are chocolate

The flowers, blooming,
fudge brown,
African fudge.

We are tasty,
we are the taste
of Mother Africa.

A lonely bee? He
wants to stand out.
He’s soaring by my Grandpa, moon.

Nature is our friend,
we stand out, ’cause
we’re the fudge of Africa.

Axel H.

Haikus are awesome —
But sometimes they don’t make sense
When you are lazy

Special Haikus
Katelyn L.

Fun in the sun —
no more
playing tons.

Sit on the swings
the sky.

Slide on the slide
the ground.

Swing on the monkey bars
like a jungle.

Jump on the bridge
what a wonderful

Run around freely
the breeze

The Date — Fruit
Kaleb N.

The date is sweet. The date was
like a raisin.

Haiku of Paper
Hunter R.

Paper is neat
but not when you write
you make it messy, like this one too.

When paper is messy,
it looks kind of good
of my opinion.

A piece of paper, it
is neat, like this paper
for me to keep.

Mean Dog
Abby R.

Had a dog.
Mean but cute.
It bit me!

Rolando V.

I wish it would snow.
Where the snow goes I go to.
It did not snow here.

Kayan V.

Crumbled paper is like
snow flying through
the sky.

Mrs. Rupp
Room 219

Kaitlyn B.

I look up
It’s wide
I love it

Haikus Are Awesome
Leon C.

Haikus are awesome.
But sometimes they are hard to understand.

Korey C.

I am not rich or famous nor am I

Shallow water sits beside me.

I have no strong dream inside

Rebecca F.

New Jersey is my favorite place!
I run around screaming joyfully.
My parents would kiss.

Darryl H.

I go underground.
I see treasure.
I think I’m being followed.

About Your Super Heroes
Dashiell K.

Superman says “I got abs!”
Batman says “I got muscles!”
Green Lantern says “I got lasers!”

Caden L.

there is a wide open space
I see a creeper
he explodes

Sydney N.

I like to write
Haiku like you
take my word into you

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please
Megan T.

Can you be my friend?
You are not my friend so far.
Can we be friends please?

Brandon W.

I fell down
the steps.
I got hurt.

There were lots
of trees, they
fell down.

The flowers were
They burst

into flames.

They broke.

Mrs. Stone
Room 216

why did you do that
James A.

why did you do that
it hurt a little bit —
I don’t feel right

Bella B.

I wish
I was a flower
that’s pink.

Deana F.

I took my iPad to
school twice in a week.
No one punished me!

My Haiku of Spiders
Diego F.

once I saw a spider
with a web
it had nineteen bugs on it.

Dash M.

bats bats
they stay
at the roof

of a barn
when you
look up

they startle
you so much
no really

O’Mani P.

I see a bee buzzing

I ran for my life.

I will not kill you don’t

I don’t bite.

Alanah P.

I saw something
It was in the window
It was a cat

Calvin R.

Every day I see a sun
flower it is beautiful I try to
pull it out the ground.

Devontay W.

Video games
are my favorite
things to play.

That’s something
I see everyday.

And my friend
Mr. Dean.

Janiah W.

I see a bug,
flying around me.
The bug was gone!



“Writing poetry makes me feel like I can see myself, like I can see my reflection, but not in a mirror, in the world. I write and I know I can be reflected.”
-Oscar S.

“Writing poetry makes me feel free.”
-Buenda D.

“Writing poetry is like your best friend.”
-Jessica M.