Winter Haiku

In this collection of winter haiku, the poets skillfully capture the essence of the season, reflecting the tranquility and profound connections found amidst the cold and quiet.

Winter Haiku

Winter, with its silent beauty and hushed landscapes, has inspired countless haiku poets over the centuries. In this collection of winter haiku, the poets skillfully capture the essence of the season, reflecting the tranquility and profound connections found amidst the cold and quiet. Among the revered haiku masters, Dakotsu Iida, Masaoka Shiki, Buson, and others have left behind timeless verses that evoke the essence of winter’s poetry.

Dakotsu Iida (1885–1962)

The winter moon
trailing its white glow
leaves the mountain

All in calmness —
the earth with half-opened eyes
moves into winter

Dakotsu’s verses showcase his ability to find beauty and depth in the simple moments of nature during the winter season. Through his haiku, he encourages us to appreciate the quietude, serenity, and introspection that winter brings, inviting us to be present in the moment and find solace in its stillness.

Masaoka Shiki (1867–1902)

Red berries —
just one has fallen
frosty garden

On the mandarin duck’s wings
a dust of snow —
such stillness!

Shiki’s haiku demonstrate his commitment to the shasei (sketching from life) approach, where he keenly observed the world around him and translated those observations into poetry. Like many of Shiki’s works, these winter haiku encourage us to connect with the subtle nuances of nature and the introspective beauty of winter, reminding us to find wonder in the simplicity of life.

BUSON (1716–83)

Cold moon —
among the withered trees
three stalks of bamboo

Camphor-tree roots
silently soak in
the early winter rain

On a mandarin duck
its beauty is exhausted—
winter grove

Taking a nap
I hide within myself—
winter seclusion

Buson’s haiku exhibit his mastery in conveying profound insights through the simplicity of nature and human experience. They invite us to embrace the quiet beauty of winter, to contemplate the cyclical nature of life and its inherent contrasts, and to explore the depths of our inner selves during this introspective season.

Naitō Jōsō (1662 – 1704) 

are keening in harmony —
snowy evening

In the eyes of the hawk
over the withered fields
sits the winter storm

Colder than snow
on my white hair—
the winter moon

Jōsō’s haiku convey the deeper emotions and connections within the winter landscape, emphasizing the harmony and resonance between the natural world and the human experience. They encourage readers to reflect on the mysteries and stillness of winter, fostering an appreciation for the intricate interplay of life and nature during this serene season.

Matsuo Bashō (1644 -1694)

Withered by winter
one-colored world—
the sound of wind

How amusing,
it may change into snow—
the winter rain

Winter sun—
frozen on horseback
is my shadow

Bashō’s haiku are not only reflective of the physical elements of winter but also of the emotional and spiritual dimensions of the season. These verses invite readers to contemplate the subtleties and surprises that winter brings, to marvel at the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary, and to find wisdom in the complexities of nature and human existence during this contemplative time of year.

More Winter Haiku

No talents
also no sins—
winter seclusion

New garden stones
settling down —
first winter rain

Without a companion,
abandoned in the fields
winter moon

Coming to the sea
the winter wind has no place
to return

falls on snow —
and remains silent

Unable to wrap it
and dropping the moon—
the winter rain

Support the Site

If you want to support the site you can do so by purchasing Corey’s first book of poetry here.

You can read more about the book here.

Leave a Reply


Sam and Corey started Poetry is Pretentious to demystify poetry. More importantly, their 5th grade teacher told them they couldn’t go through life as a team. 18 years later they’re here to prove her wrong.


%d bloggers like this: