What Is A French Haiku?
How Do You Write A French Haiku?
A French Haiku follows four rules.
- It is a poem of 3 lines
- The first 2 lines are each less than 12 syllables
- The final line is exactly 12 syllables
- The final line is broken up into two parts by a pause, typically, but not exclusively, denoted by a period, comma, or dash.
Examples of French Haiku
Example poem by Corey Bryan
Each morning I stroll through (6 syllables)
the park. The air feels crisp and cool. (8 syllables)
I walk into the coffee shop and say, “Howdy.” (12 syllables)
Example poem by Sam Kilkenny
I call her over Zoom (6 syllables)
Our first digital date. (6 syllables)
Her webcam’s not working. What is even the point? (12 syllables)
Advantages of The Form
There are many advantages to French Haiku. Like any haiku, it can be written in just a few minutes. The fact that the first two lines don’t have a set syllable count makes it even easier.
The breakup of the final line into two parts gives the author options for where to take the poem. It offers a great opportunity to introduce dialogue or juxtapose two different thoughts. We often think of one line of poetry as one piece so breaking it up allows us to see things in a new way.
Challenges of The Form
Sometimes the pause poses a challenge. You may think of the perfect final line but realize it has no pause in it. If this is the case play around with it, but if you find the pause gets in the way then who cares! Break the rules. The forms are a guide to help so don’t let them get in the way.
Prompt 1 – Dating in the Digital Age
With the rise of new technologies dating has become easier than ever. But technology can just as easily get in the way.
I call her over Zoom
Our first digital date.
Her webcam’s not working. What is even the point?
Prompt 2 – Morning Ritual
Morning is the period of time between midnight and noon, especially from sunrise to noon. A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence.
Each morning I stroll through the park.
The air feels crisp and cool.
I walk into the coffee shop and say, “Howdy.”
Prompt 3 – Mourning Ritual
Mourning is the expression of sorrow for the loss of something loved. A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed according to a set sequence.
I get a glimpse in the mirror,
I saw my mother woven through my face.
My make up runs when hers does. I hate when she cries.
Prompt 4 – Mourning Rich Ewe Wool
Just kidding! Let’s play with sounds. Write about sounds you can hear or sounds you can make or sounds that are stuck in your head.
I hate how much ritual
Sounds like rich ewe wool.
I’m obsessed. So I wrote a poem about it
Prompt 5 – A Parisian Afternoon
You just got a new job in Paris and it’s your first afternoon off. What’re you doing?
The Parisian market smells
Like fresh baked goods and love
I’ll stay at home though. It also smells like B.O.
Prompt 6 – Does Camping Suck?
It’s your first night camping and you can’t decide if it’s the most beautiful experience you’ve ever had or the worst night’s sleep of your life.
A spring night under the stars,
A gnarled root in the ground
Sleeping in a bag – what an ill advised idea
Prompt 7 – Cooking on a Budget
You’re broke. And you’re hungry. You’ve got five dollars to spend at the grocery store. What are you making?
Wonder Bread is like, two bucks?
Chicken ramen costs twenty cents
Make pasta and put it on bread. Bon appétit