Haiku as Grief Poetry

Haiku is a style of poetry from Asia with a seventeen syllable structure. As I mentioned on the My First Grief Poem page, sometimes a forced structure helps us see things in a new light.

The structure is three lines with five syllables on the first line, seven syllables on the second and five syllables again on the third line. Having a title is an option that gives you a few more words if you need it. Here is one written by Issa.

On the Death of His Child

Dew evaporates
All our world is dew...so dear,
So fresh, so fleeting.


Look around you--watch a bee in a flower, a leaf floating on a river, a rain drop sliding down the window pane, or the screeching tires on the street. What meaning for life can you find in these everyday things? Can you write it in seventeen syllables?

Here are a few that I have come up with: (Note these are not poems that eventually got published in my book Seasons of Solace. I'm sure they wouldn't have made it through the editing process! The point is not for publishable poetry. The point is to make another step on the healing path.)

Exploring the world
Death took my husband away
Exploring my soul

lost among the trees
climbing higher and higher
new view raises hope

the ant is so small
wandering over boulders
content in his work

every small puzzle piece
has its place in the larger
design of my life

the branch is broken
the storm raged beyond its strength
the trunk remains firm

a praying mantis
I watch and see that even
bugs can pray for me

Need Poetry Help?

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