Further information about Kung Fu Haiku and how to use its features.
A haiku is a short form of Japanese poetry, typically in three phrases, following three rules:
However, 'good' haiku are said to contain other qualities:
A full list of thirteen characteristics was drawn up by English author and Japanese culture vulture, R. H. Blyth. These are:
You'll find that just about all of these have been abandoned in one way or another on Kung Fu Haiku!
From the excellent UK website, http://haiku.org.uk/english.htm:
"Thus it proves elusive to reach the description of haiku which all those fascinated by the genre can accept without reservation. With this qualification, that in the present time something like the following represents an informed consensus in the West.
The criteria by which we recognise and judge haiku are:-
The 5-7-5 structure should not be observed as a strict rule, lest it become too cramped a cage that compromises the poem's flow. It's the pursuit of essence, efficiency, and the impression of spontaneity that make up the DNA of a haiku or senryū poem, not its syllable count. A haiku should be lean, not nutty slack; the distillation of a complex image, scene or emotion into the smallest possible snapshot that can convey its depth or essence. To this end, a number of haiku poets suggest that a pattern of 4-5-4 is a more accurate representation of the Japanese form.
Another form, Senryū, generally addresses aspects of human nature, often in a satirical or comical manner. In the words of Blythe:
"...in senryū the world is 'not seen as God made it' but 'as man sees it'; to haiku, sex hardly exists; to senryu, it is all pervading."
A slightly longer format, Tanka ("short poem"), takes the form 5-7-5-7-7, and is one of the major genres of classical Japanese literature.
No! The plural of haiku is not haikus, it's haiku. Like salmon, cod, or trout.
Haiku can be posted by anyone - you don't need to log in or become a member. For further information on content and publishing guidelines, please read our terms and conditions.
As you may have noticed, part of the fun of posting on Kung Fu Haiku is coming up with witty, relevant, or indeed irreverent, author names. This does not have to be your real name, and in fact we'd recommend that you always use a pseudonym or nom-de-plume when submitting work, for the sake of online safety (and covering your own arse).
Haiku can be rated by anyone - you don't need to log in or become a member. If you are a member, you'll get an email if someone upvotes one of your pieces if you've chosen the notification option in your account settings. You can only vote once for any given haiku. You can upvote your own haiku if you really want to.
Books are merely compilations of existing poetry on Kung Fu Haiku. You don't need to ask permission to use haiku in your books, although we do provide the option to include linked author names, both on the haiku's page and at the start of the book.
To add haiku to a book, simply tap the little book icon () next to each haiku on the front page. When you've selected the ones you want, click the 'Create Book' button at the foot of the page and fill out the necessary information.
Each page contains one haiku, and you can have as many pages as you like (a minimum of 4 haiku must be selected). Once your book is created, it will have its own unique web address which you can share with friends, family, and colleagues. For example:
The following configuration options are available when creating a book:
Some folks choose to post the haiku that they wish to include in a book as private works, a members-only feature. There are a number of reasons for doing so:
Books in the library are compilations of existing work on haiku. You must be a logged-in member to place a book in the library.
At the moment, membership to Kung Fu Haiku is by invitation only. You can request an invitation by sending an email to info[at]kungfuhaiku.com and telling us a bit about yourself, or by asking someone who is already a member to send you one.
There is no advertising on Kung Fu Haiku. If you do see adverts, then either your browser has been hijacked or you're using some kind of unscrupulous plugin.
Please read the terms and conditions for all matters regarding copyright and intellectual property.
Q: Haiku is Japanese, Kung Fu is Chinese - why have you combined them?
A: Nobody's perfect. And it sounded good at the time.
Q: The syllable counter is returning the wrong number.
A: Yes, this happens from time to time. It's pretty tricky (without a dictionary look-up) due to the numerous anomolies in the English language. For the technically curious, I'm using some regex with a growing list of exceptions. There's a great saying: "when a programmer uses regex to solve a problem, he then has two problems".
Q: Who designed the website - it's great/awful?
A: Russell McVeigh (me) designed the website, along with some help from a few friends.
Q: How long has Kung Fu Haiku been running?
A: Since around 2008, so that's roughly 15 years.
Page last updated on 13th April 2023