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The Power of Haiku Poetry

Haiku is a type of poetry that has come to mean so much more in our modern societies than its traditional purpose of conveying the beauty of nature. Often referred to as “being in the moment”, haiku can be used to bring attention to the small, yet powerful things in life. From its ancient roots in the 17th century in Japan, haiku has become increasingly popular in western cultures, and the power of haiku to capture meaningful moments has been lauded by modern poets and writers alike.

Haiku is based on a formula of five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second line, and five syllables in the third line. This structure acts as a connector between two moments in time, and the emotions in between. This structure is minimized and minimalistic in nature, but does not sacrifice the emotional impact or the power of the words within. This is attributed to haiku’s simplicity and focused attention on what the words do and not what they mean.

The brevity and structure of haiku can be both constricting and liberating, depending on the way words are chosen. Through the poems, readers can explore hidden depths and find interconnected pieces of wisdom to help understand the world around them. The traditional nature of the form also lends itself naturally to exploring a wide range of emotions as the precise moments that are evoked are varied and dynamic.

The power of haiku is further compounded by its ability to be interpreted and experienced in myriad different ways. This is especially true in instances of ‘proper’ haiku, which have kigo (seasonal words) and kireji (breaking words). The inclusion of these words can help to craft an atmosphere that can shape the tone and mood of a haiku. For example, the inclusion of summer kigo can evoke feelings of warmth and brightness, while the addition of a kireji can bring tension and drama to a piece.

Haiku, in many ways, can be seen as an important life lesson. It requires readers to take an active role in crafting meaning from the momentary haiku, and often the details can be in the reader’s heart, mind and soul. This is similar to how moments in life create feelings or connections with someone or something special that can be interpreted by the reader. This process of exploration through haiku can have a positive effect on mental health and wellbeing, as time and attention are paid to the moments in life that are often easily overlooked.

In more sentimental terms, haiku is a way to express emotions that may feel too deep to share in other forms of literature, as the words evoke a feeling of safety and introspection. The limited amount of words can be used to great effect in both short and immense moments of grief, joy or wonder within the three short lines. By allowing these feelings to be captured with the use of haiku, readers can establish a connection with themselves and their emotions, as a smaller set of words is often easier to comprehend and interpret than larger works.

In conclusion, haiku has been shifting and growing in popularity throughout modern societies and its power to connect, evoke and capture meaningful moments has been highly praised by writers, poets and readers alike. Its simple structure and brevity allows readers to explore hidden depths, while bringing attention to overlooked moments in life. Furthermore, haiku’s ability to bring forth emotions and explore complex feelings has positive effects on mental health and wellbeing, providing a safe environment where a variety of emotions can be expressed without judgement.


Britt, D. (2019). What is Haiku Poetry and How to Write It? Retrieved from

Kary, J. (2019). The Power of Haiku: Simplicity and Depth in a Single Moment. Retrieved from

Stanford, M. (2020). 5 Mindful Benefits of Writing Haiku Poetry. Retrieved from

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