Thursday, April 13, 2006


SciFaiku uses the rules of haiku except its subject is science fiction.

Basic rules: 3 lines long, 6-10 words total.

Set the timer for 10-15 minutes and go at it.
The SciFaiku Manifesto does a good job of explaining the guidelines for creating SciFaiku. Here's a few examples:
serious children
scrape frost from the joints
of a war machine -- Tom Brinck

Thru empty windows
of abandoned skyscrapers,
just a butterfly... -- Tom Brinck

her reptilian skin --
small bubbles on glossy green. -- Tom Brinck

Digging up an ancient city,
finding the print
of a tennis shoe. -- Tom Brinck

Spring showers
my best friend
rusts. -- Greg Pass

An old neon sign
"The Galaxy's Finest Spoo
- Served Both Hot AND Cold." -- Yvonne Aburrow
And just for the heck of it, Haiku Error Messages.

So much to read about so few syllables! If you really get into haiku, here's an essay written by Jane Reichhold, the author of the Aha! Poetry website, called Haiku Techniques. She lists a lot of techniques/approaches to haiku that might give you a place to get started.

The Technique of Comparison - In the words of Betty Drevniok: "In haiku the SOMETHING and the SOMETHING ELSE are set down together in clearly stated images. Together they complete and fulfill each other as ONE PARTICULAR EVENT." She rather leaves the reader to understand that the idea of comparison is showing how two different things are similar or share similar aspects.
a spring nap
downstream cherry trees
in bud

What is expressed, but not said, is the thought that buds on a tree can be compared to flowers taking a nap. One could also ask to what other images could cherry buds be compared? A long list of items can form in one's mind and be substituted for the first line. Or one can turn the idea around and ask what in the spring landscape can be compared to a nap without naming things that close their eyes to sleep. By changing either of these images one can come up with one's own haiku while getting a new appreciation and awareness of comparison.

The Technique of Contrast - Now the job feels easier. All one has to do is to contrast images.
long hard rain
hanging in the willows
tender new leaves
The delight from this technique is the excitement that opposites creates. You have instant built-in interest in the most common haiku 'moment'. And yet most of the surprises of life are the contrasts, and therefore this technique is a major one for haiku.

She goes on to describe and give examples for each of the following techniques:
  • The Technique of Association
  • The Technique of the Riddle
  • The Technique of Sense-switching
  • The Technique of Narrowing Focus
  • The Technique of Metaphor
  • The Technique of Simile
  • The Technique of the Sketch or Shiki's Shasei
  • The Technique of Double entendre (or double meanings)
  • The Technique of using Puns
  • The Technique of Word-plays
  • The Technique of Verb /Noun Exchange
  • The Technique of Close Linkage
  • The Technique of Leap Linkage
  • The Technique of Mixing It Up
  • The Technique of Sabi
  • The Technique of Wabi
  • The Technique of Yûgen
  • The Technique of the Paradox
  • The Technique of The Improbable World
  • The Technique of Humor
  • The Above as Below Technique
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