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The Four Elements in Haiku

Author:

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

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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).

Comments

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on September 06, 2020:

attended a poetry reading this weekend. It was a small gathering because of our circumstances now. But we shared haiku, and I hope to do that again. Have a great day.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on November 14, 2018:

Thank you, Nonabels, I appreciate your kind comment.

Sincerely,

Tim

Nonabels from Manila on November 13, 2018:

Hi Tim, I love your Haikus, especially Haiku poetry of the air. It talks about peace, calmness and serenity which most of have not experience. Continue to inspire everyone and spread your love for poetry.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on October 25, 2018:

Your comment means much to me, Lora.

I appreciate you taking out some of your valuable time to read this.

I really like the last haiku as well. For those verses, it felt as if the fires of inside and outside guided my fingers to type the words. Thank you again. You are a wonderful poet who I admire.

May your day be peaceful and rewarding.

Sincerely,

Tim

Lora Hollings on October 24, 2018:

I love your haikus Tim! And thank you for the very informative introduction on the origins of haiku poetry. Your haikus indeed are not only beautiful but also make us celebrate life and nature! I especially love the last one entitled Fire in the Spirit. Your haikus inspire and create vivid imagery of the four elements of nature in diverse and graceful forms. With much respect and admiration, Lora.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 17, 2018:

Hi,Jo,

You are a clever writer with much to sure for those who read your work. You are a breath of fresh air. I love the way you approach topics. I'm glad I was able to offer something that you found interesting.

Much respect.

Your friend a state over,

Tim

Jo Miller from Tennessee on August 17, 2018:

Thanks, Tim, for an informative and enjoyable article. I learned some things this morning. Always a good way to start my day.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 14, 2018:

Thank you, Ms. Dora,

This is one of my favorite forms of poetry. A comment from you saying that this was a "literary treat" is one of the high lights of my day. I appreciate you dropping by. May God always bless you.

Sincere respect,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 14, 2018:

My friend in Australia,

Water in us both,

Flowed through past and present times,

All united so.

Thank you for your wonderful and thoughtful comment, Threekeys. I treasure your visit.

May you have a peaceful and rewarding day,

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 14, 2018:

Thank you, Tamara. I appreciate your kind words. Your comments are always welcomed.

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on August 14, 2018:

Even without awareness of the basic elements of haiku, I find this form of poetry very enjoyable and enlightening. Yours fit beautifully and my favorite is the first one. Thanks for such a literary treat.

threekeys on August 13, 2018:

I love Haiku Poetry too.

Your poems gave me wings to fly out into nature. For me right now I experienced your water landscape Haiku bringing me some kind of peaceful soothing to my senses.

Thankyou Tim.

Tamara Wilhite from Fort Worth, Texas on August 13, 2018:

Lovely poems.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 13, 2018:

Agreed. Thanks, Sean. We are citizens of the world. I appreciate you and your positive perspective and wisdom.

Much respect and admiration with the love of God and our Savior in mind,

Sincerely,

Tim

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on August 13, 2018:

Thank you, my Brother, for your kind words. I want to make a clarification though. Despite what many of my fellow citizens believe, I prefer the idea that the Classical Greek Thought is a heritage of all humankind, not only Greek people. My beloved teacher, Socrates used to say:

“I am not an Athenian, nor a Greek, but a citizen of the world.”

Much respect too,

Sean

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 13, 2018:

Hi, dearest brother, Sean,

The Greeks have contributed so much to the world and the West - concepts of democracy, outstanding literature, and ways of examining our spiritual relevance - I can't help but always think of those who gave so much and studied so that we can be a better humanity. My thanks to you and your wonderful heritage.

I had hoped you would stop by and contribute something fabulous to this work, as you always do. Mentioning the fifth element certainly was a positive from you, and I greatly appreciate it.

Thanks for reading and commenting.

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

Ioannis Arvanitis from Greece, Almyros on August 13, 2018:

Excellent work my dear Brother, once again. A beautiful tribute both to Haiku poetry and the elements of life from Greek Philosophy! I think I will never stop to admire your Spirit!

In classical Greek thought, the four elements earth, water, air, and fire have been proposed by Empedocles. Aristotle added a fifth element, aether; it has been called akasha in India and quintessence in Europe. In my philosophy Is Love, and your work is full of this!

Admiration!

Sean

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 12, 2018:

Thanks, Eric. I appreciate your comment. You are always kind and cheerful to fellow writers, my friend, I respect and like that.

May your day be peaceful and rewarding,

Sincerely,

Tim

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on August 12, 2018:

Well I ain't no poet but I like it I know it. I think maybe Haiku is my favorite As long as you write it. This one has no discipline. I really like that. Be good to yourself.

Tim Truzy (author) from U.S.A. on August 12, 2018:

Thank you, Louise,

Your comment means much to me. I really tried to stick to the traditional way of composing haiku with slight modifications, i.e., I don't know Japanese. :)

Much respect,

Sincerely,

Tim

FlourishAnyway from USA on August 12, 2018:

I liked these a lot. They flowed nicely and there was nothing forced about them as ther so often is with rhyming poems. Splendid.