Irish Haiku Society

Haiku and Hokku


Haiku (plural: haiku!):

a short (having no more than four lines) nature-oriented poem containing a reference to a certain season, or a kigo / season word, and consisting of two parts.




traditionally, a first stanza in renga.


Before Shiki, the name for what we now know as haiku.


Senryu and Monoku



a poem dealing with human affairs, usually written in the same form as haiku but without a kigo.

Example. Classical Japanese senryu

A single ant

gets a good girl

out of her clothes

A baby born

and as river-banks lie

man and wife

Sheltering from the rain,

the letters on the Buddha's forehead

I study hard!


a one-line haiku or senryu poem


autumn ilness the white noise of crickets

mosquitoes and young couples in love in another language

a wet-black boulder blue december sky

by Jim Kacian (first published in Shamrock Haiku Journal No 1)

Jim Kacian, 2007



Renga (linked verse):

a linked poems usually composed by two or more poets (5-7-5 and 7-7 onji).


Rensaku and Gunsaku


Rensaku (linked work):

a bunch of haiku/tanka written around the same event/experience.



Gunsaku (group work):

a sequence of haiku/tanka written around the same event/experience.





a walk in the nature of a group of haiku poets.

Poems from the ginko organised by the Irish Haiku Society in 2007 can be viewed here:

Photographs from the same ginko are available here:




prose by a haiku poet, usually intermitted with haiku.




a painting that includes a haiku, sometimes in calligraphy.


Example. Haiga by Kamome (Italy)

includes the following haiku by Issa Kobayashi:


Rare beauty:

the kite escaping

from a beggar's hut