The Four Elements in Haiku

Updated on August 13, 2018
Tim Truzy info4u profile image

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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Do you think one style of poetry should only be used for one particular topic?

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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.

Poll

What aspect of nature do you like READING ABOUT most in poetry?

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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) was
  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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    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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 profile image

      Jo Miller 

      2 months ago from Tennessee

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

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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 info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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 info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

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

      Much respect,

      Sincerely,

      Tim

    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Weithers 

      2 months ago from The Caribbean

      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.

    • profile image

      threekeys 

      2 months ago

      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.

    • tamarawilhite profile image

      Tamara Wilhite 

      2 months ago from Fort Worth, Texas

      Lovely poems.

    • Tim Truzy info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      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 info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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

    • Sean Dragon profile image

      Ioannis Arvanitis 

      2 months ago from Greece, Almyros

      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 info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 

      2 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      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 info4u profile imageAUTHOR

      Tim Truzy 

      2 months ago from U.S.A.

      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 profile image

      FlourishAnyway 

      2 months ago from USA

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

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