During the five years I have been attending to the Gremio Haicai Ipe (to put into context, this group has more than 25 years and is well respected by the people who study this sort of poem. It was founded by Haiku Master Matsuo Goga and is now coordinated by Haiku Master Teruko Oda), I took notes in my notepad of the tips I found most useful and often commented on how to write a good haiku.
Now I share this treasure, the precious tips from my secret notebook:
- Haiku is a Zen art, Buddhist detachment. To write a good haiku empty your soul.
- A haiku can talk about its author, but should not contain the views of this author.
- Do not explain the obvious. Haiku is poetic suggestion.
- Allow the reader to interpret and be part of the haiku, do not deliver an overly explained situation.
- Haiku is made from the inside out.
- Capture the light emanating from things before she goes out.
- Do not compare. Comparisons denote analyzes and reflections. Haiku is poetry and not an intellectual reflection.
- Use verbs always in the present tense because the haiku is the art of "now".
- The verb serves at most to explain. Do not abuse of the use of verbs as this spoils the haiku.
- Haiku should be built on the kigo. It is a foundation, if removed, disrupts haiku.
- A haiku must not contain more than 1 kigo.
- The kigo must be used in its concrete and not metaphysical presence.
- Kigo can have attributes, but avoid adjectives. For example, it is better to use "cold dawn" aou instead of "beautiful dawn." Beauty is an adjective full of subjectivity.
- The third verse should not explain the previous two
- The 5-7-5 metric is a guideline and not a straitjacket. The phonetic structure of the Japanese language is very different from the English or Portuguese.
- Kireji (indent) must be used instead of "period", if you want to give an impression of greater softness or suspense.
- Adverbs are better than adjectives. Nouns are better than adjectives.
- Three isolated verses and not connected to form the kind of haiku with style "shelf" considered bad. Look connect the idea and a "seam" between the poetic verses, but without explaining.
I hope these tips are helpful to you as they were for me.