For your convenience, we have created an introduction page to define the haiku that we publish in
cattails, collected works of the UHTS. We hope that this will clarify for both old-timers and new writers
specifically what is expected from submissions. For some of you, we realize that this is redundant but since there
are currently so many different schools-of-thought on each of these forms—we offer ours here for your perusal.
Haiku is a succinct write equal to 3 lines (it doesn't matter how that equal is arranged, 1 line, 2 lines, or in 3
lines), but what does matter are the rest of the requirements, which are: that it captures a sensory perceived moment,
and contains either a kigo (season word) that directly indicates a season, or other words that at least
indirectly evoke a feeling of the natural world we live in. It has a 2-punch juxtaposition that equals a
kireji (cutting word) which creates a conscious pause. Haiku no longer must always conform to the 5,7,5
syllable count; rather it should be somewhat close to a short, long, short rhythm for publication in
Haiku typically contains a setting, subject, verb, plus an “aha” moment, although there are exceptions in
"question" and/or "statement" haiku, and haiku "sketches".
If the haiku is zen-like, it still should be a s, l, s rhythm and should also include the above mentioned, or
otherwise possibly be considered incomplete.
Most haiku in English consist of three non-rhymed lines of fewer than seventeen syllables, with the middle line
the longest. In Japanese a typical haiku has seventeen "sounds" (on) arranged five, seven, and five. (Some
translators of Japanese poetry have noted that about twelve syllables in English approximates the duration of
seventeen Japanese (on).
Haiku have no titles, and metaphors and similes (if used) must be extremely subtle. An in depth discussion of what
might be called "deep metaphor" or symbolism in haiku is beyond the range of actual definition. Direct
personification in haiku should be avoided, so please keep your haiku as true to the reality of nature as
possible. The UHTS does not publish anything that we feel might be offensive to the general public.
We encourage you to send a translation of your haiku in "your" native language.
REMINDER: Please send any/all haiku submissions (within the "body" of an email), with the Subject heading of HAIKU
in all caps. You can submit haiku to Geethanjali Rajan at:
You must include your Country, full name, and email address to be considered !