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The Four Elements in Haiku

Tim Truzy is a poet, short-story author, and he is currently working on several novels.

the-four-elements-in-haiku

About Haiku Poetry

My first encounter with haiku poetry occurred when I was in elementary school. My teacher invited a friend of hers to come to the class to discuss life in Japan. The lady was mesmerizing; we were a captivated audience. She shared stories about Japan, including some of the literature from that nation. Afterwards, we played games to help us understand syllables and how they made words. I thank that guest in my youth for sharing so much.

Haiku poetry still inspires me today as much as it did then. In fact, haiku poetry was created by the Japanese, going back thousands of years. The structure of haiku poetry has five syllables in the first line, seven in the second, and five again in the third line. Usually, haiku poetry is written about nature, but the format allows for the author to write about other topics as well. Many times, the 5, 7, 5 approach of haiku may be slightly modified which was an innovation from western culture.

The poems below celebrate life using the haiku approach. I composed these poems thinking about the ancient Greek ideas concerning the four elements: fire, water, earth, and air. Enjoy. Leave comments if you prefer.

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Haiku Poetry of the Land

Quietly walking,

Through forests and wild meadows,

Nature holds my hand.


Rolling hills call me,

Calm and beautiful mountains,

Born from soil and hope.


From fields flourishing,

Fertilized food for feeding,

Falling from the frost.


Why bother growing?

Better is knowing the dirt,

Care not to hurt your rows.


Care only to show,

Harvested humane behavior,

Blooming in your soul.

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Haiku Poetry of the Water

Standing on a deck,

Watching ships go back and forth,

We all are vessels.


Hurricanes come,

Water sprouts dance to the shore,

Leaving lakes drowned.


Streams rush to rivers,

Oceans orchestrate rebirth,

Circulating drops.


Submerged emotions,

Swimming in under currents,

Looking for a lighthouse.


Waves washed my worries,

Surf ebbing tributaries,

Stirring tears to pools.

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Haiku Poetry of the Air

Soaring in the sky,

Wind takes my heart to new heights,

Feet wings on this Earth.


Cloudy sky clear mind,

Cleaning my distracted lungs,

Count every breath.


Kites danced on the wind,

Ballerinas graceful flight,

Birds nesting skyward.


Blow my destiny,

Whirlwind emotions aloft,

Atmospheric domain.


Oxygen dwindled,

Spaces inner and outer,

Flying further still.

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Haiku Poetry of Fire in the Spirit

Passionate fires,

Destroying and creating,

Heating death and life.


I once burned myself,

Roasting mirrored to embers,

Smiling back at me.


Light at dawn tells the night,

Reveal the coldest secrets,

Melted by bright truth.


Purifying flames,

Burning for my dull actions,

Fiery faith lit,


Dynamite recharged,

Exploding doubts to ashes,

Igniting my life.


He gave me candles,

Lit by love’s intensity,

To help light the world.

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Some Famous Poets who Composed Haiku Verse

There are many poets who have used the haiku form, including William Shakespeare. Below I’ve provided several names of these poets for your scrutiny. I’ve also given their birth and death dates. Some of these masters may be familiar to you. Many of their works can be found on the internet.

  1. Antonio Machado (1875–1939).
  2. Edward Estlin "E. E." Cummings (1894–1962).
  3. Emily Dickinson (1830–1886)
  4. John Ashbery (1927–2017).
  5. Masaoka Shiki (1867-1902).
  6. Matsunaga Teitoku (1571-1654).
  7. Octavio Paz (1914—1998).
  8. Sokotsu Samukawa (1875-1954 ).
  9. Thomas Stearns “T. S.” Eliot (1888–1965).
  10. Walt Whitman (1819–1892).

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