My Most Visited Writing Prompt Ever: The Essence of Summer Poetry Haiku

wooded path 7.13Capture the essence of summer by writing a haiku…


Think about several of your outdoor experiences this summer. Select 3 –5 of these settings and jot them down on a piece of paper. For each, web or brainstorm:

  • How it looked—what was there? What was the light like? What colors were prominent…
  • How it sounded—What did you hear? Animals, wind, people, water…
  • How it felt—What was the temperature? Was the air moist or dry? Was there a wind or was the air still? Did you touch anything? What did it feel like?
  • How it smelled—Was it briny like the ocean, or moist like a rain forest? What were the natural smells of the environment?
  • How did it taste? I know, you probably did not go walking around tasting everything you saw, but smells have a taste element to them as well.

Look over the information you have collected and choose an image to focus on in you haiku.


The most simplistic American haiku form is the 5-7-5 pattern we were all taught in school. (5 syllables for the first line, 7 syllables for the second line, 5 syllables for the last.) However, these are only guidelines. You can choose to vary your syllables and their spread over the three lines, as long as you maintain a balanced pattern and keep the haiku under the total 17 syllables. The key is to reduce your haiku to the least number of syllables possible without losing its impact or meaning.


Read your haiku to your writing partners or post it here on the blog. Compliment one another on the spare beauty of your poems.

And please, again I encourage you to share here. Asthma, allergies, and job hunting have kept me indoors too much this summer. I would be so grateful to sample summer’s natural world through your wonderful haikus.

It’s a new summer!

The graduation ceremonies are winding down, I haven’t had to wear socks for weeks, and this next Friday will be the last day of school. Go somewhere you love, soon, and write some summer haiku’s.