Wednesday, April 13, 2011

K is for Kigo

I love to write haiku, the 3-line verse that contains five syllables in the first line, seven syllables in the second and five syllables in the third. A form of Japanese verse, haiku usually do not rhyme-and they pop out of my mouth like a Pez Dispenser.

My haiku habit is the subject of jokes among family and friends. I always write a haiku about whatever gift I receive and include it in the thank-you card, for fun. I've published plenty of haiku on the internet as well, but recently stopped. I think my haiku are more fun to write than than they are to read.

Still, this one gets decent page views: 
 Leftover Chocolate Easter Bunny - a Haiku Trio

And some homeschooling parents picked up this haiku riddle sheet to use in lesson plans:
Can you Guess the Animals in the Haiku Zoo?

Okay, enough self promotion. What does haiku (obviously an H-word) have to do with kigo (my K-word post for the A-Z Blogging Challenge)?

As I pondered what to write today, I played around on some of my favorite research sites. Stumbling onto the word kigo, I dug a bit deeper.
According to the Literary Terms and Definitions website:
Kigo is a traditional 'season-word' in Japanese haiku. The kigo must appear within a haiku's text or be strongly implied by imagery. These words place the haiku within a specific month or season, establishing an atmosphere for the poem while maintaining brevity.
Color me excited. That's fantastic! I did not know about kigo until today.

As buds strain to bloom 
Consciousness grows to include 
Word discovery

This is why I love being a writer. Always researching and always learning. 

Happy writing! Don't forget to include a kigo in your next haiku!


  1. How interesting. I have learned something today already. Thanks!

  2. Neat! I've written hundreds of Haiku, but hadn't heard of Kigo. I'll have to try this.

    I'm blogging through the A to Z Challenge too:

  3. Hi - bopping over from my blog to thank you for your comment and visit. And so glad you did, cause now I found you. Although I don't write poetry, I love it.

  4. Very interesting! I never heard of it either.

  5. I didn't know about it either! I think you managed to get Kigo into your haiku (that is yours, isn't it?)

    Great to meet you on the A-Z challenge

  6. That's interesting. I knew a "season" had to be involved but didn't know what it was called.

  7. Cool! My only 'poetry' are limericks--mostly clean. ;O)

    My “K” post is right here:

  8. Yes, Lauracea, that is my haiku. Thank you.

  9. Great poem! I love the imagery -- so simple, but so beautiful.

  10. Haiku's are definitely interesting, it's fun to try to get meaning in 3 lines.

  11. A kigo-I love learning new things, too! Thanks! Your enthusiasm shows.

    Visiting and exploring blogs via the A to Z Blog challenge.

  12. I really admire that haiku comes to you so naturally! Kigo is interesting - and has me wondering what other things have been incorporated into haiku. I'm downloading your Zoo haiku, for my own homeschooled little guy and I to have fun with! (I'm hoping he'll get interested enough to write his own haiku, or some poems, at least).

  13. Very cool! I love learning new things... and need to revisit the art of haiku too!

  14. I've always admired writers of haiku who are able to have them exude beauty, warmth and/or emotion. Mine tend to have something of a comedic bent to them when I'm done. Great job; great word!

    Another A-Z Challenger stopping by to visit. You can find me at:
    The Frustrated Foodie

  15. I love reading haiku and have written several to help illustrate my favorite photos of Hawaii. I've qualified my use of Kigo with the explanation that Hawaii doesn't have the extreme seasons of many other areas (excuses, excuses!)

  16. I knew about haiku needing to have season to be a true haiku, but I didn't know that it was called kigo. Great post!

  17. I love learning new things too and I did today with your post! Loved your haiku, it really captured spring for me.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. Look forward to seeing what else you'll have up for the A-Z challenge!

  18. This is great, now I know a new word. Kigo, I'll need to think about including more Kigo in my writing.

  19. Kool! I didn't know about kigo. Thanks for increasing my vocabulary. And thanks for stopping by to say hi the other day. I would follow your blog, but the follower thingy has been messed up for a couple of days now. Thought I had it fixed yesterday, but it was only temporary. I'll add your site to my bloglist for now.


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