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Haiku o You, Celebratin Yersel – Scrievin prompt

Language: Scots
Genre: Inspiration
Topics: Scots

Last updated: 14 June 2021

It mebbe disnae feel like it the noo, but celebration is still a muckle pairt o oor everyday lives.

Whether it’s congratulatin oorsels on that stoatin cup o tea we jist brewed, takkin pleisure in a memory we’ll never forget or reflectin on thon special person that maks oor life that wee bit mair douce, celebration allous us tae bide in the noo and tae tak tent o whit’s important in oor lives.

Wairm up exercise: mind map

'Haiku has a special meanin and function for awbody. It can be a form o therapy. It can be a wey tae tap intae yer ain psyche. And it can dae these things acause it’s short, acause the rules are simple, acause it can focus on the moment.' – Dr Haruo Shriane, Shincho Professor o Japanese Literature and Culture, Columbia University

As weel as bein a kenspeckle Japanese poetic form, haiku are used tae tak tent o the warld. Seein as they anely hae three short lines, a mind map can be a guid wey tae brainstorm some wirds.

In the middle o yer page, scrieve the wird ‘celebration’. Then, draw lines frae this basic theme, and think aboot ither wirds that, tae yersel, chime wi yer ain experience o celebration. This could mebbe be a milestane in yer life sae faur or a wee achievement o yer ain that ye’re prood o. Think aboot schuil, yer wark, relationships, or whit ye dae in yer spare time.

If naethin’s comin tae mind, think aboot yer everyday routine. Did ye try a new recipe? Mak thon phone caw ye were feart aboot? Sort the recyclin? Aw these things are wirth a wee bit o personal celebration.

Brainstorm: Celebration

'The mair ye praise and celebrate yer life, the mair there is in life tae celebrate.' – Oprah Winfrey

Noo ye hae some wirds relatin tae celebration, try and brek them doon even mair intae thochts and feelins. Wirk wi yer senses: whit can ye mind o seein, hearin, smellin, tastin and touchin at the time? Redd up a list and try pickin oot ane wird for each o yer senses.

Haiku aften hae pouerful imagery. Hae anither deek at yer mind map o wirds, and yer list o senses, and think aboot how ye can pit these thegither tae create a visual poem.

Naitur is somethin else that plays an important pairt in haiku. Is there a season or a kind o wather that ties in wi yer moment o celebration?

Stairt scrievin

The traditional haiku form follaes certain rules: a poem o three lines, wi 17 syllables awthegither. The first line is 5 syllables, the second line is 7 syllables, and the third line is 5 syllables, jist like the first. Mind, but, that acause syllables are different in Japanese and English (and Scots!), the modern haiku disnae need tae stick tae these strict rules, but it should still hae three lines.

A haiku disnae need tae rhyme, and it can include repetition o wirds or soonds. Forby, ye can hae a guid play aroond wi punctuation – ye can use it, or ye can jist forget aboot it.

It micht be haundy tae think o a snapshot o a moment. Like a photae, it pins doon an exact pynt in time and space. Aft as no, the first twa lines pent a picture and the last line is used tae chynge the pynt o view, or tae shift the tone o the poem, or the unnerstaunin o whit thon moment micht be aboot. But, as ye’ll see frae the Haiku ablow, ye can dae onythin ye’ve a mind tae.


Too dark to read the page
Too cold.
– Jack Kerouac

A little boy sings
on a terrace, eyes aglow.
Ridge spills upward.
– Robert Yehling

Dead of winter
making stock
rom the bones
– Jayne Miller

chunnaic mi bhuam
farsaingeachd tràigh Losgaintir
sìnte eadarainn
– Alison Laing

The puddock lowps, an
the still quate o this auld puil
jist bursts wi a plowp.
– Ian McFadyen

Divorce finalized -
a monarch floats
among falling leaves
– Aubrie Cox

As if mending
socks, I repair my mind
and live on
– Yoshino Yoshiko

Sewing in the lamplight
I teach spelling to my child -
autumn rain
– Sugita Hisajo