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Welcome to DVerse, Poets! Frank Tassone here, your host for today’s Meet the Bar, where we take a deep dive into poetic craft.

Many of us have written haibun for Haibun Monday prompts. That means we have written haiku. Did you know that you could write multiple haiku that express a similar theme or montage of images? That haikai form is known as the haiku sequence.

Michael Dylan Welch, haiku poet, scholar and host of the National Haiku Writing Month Facebook Page, explains:

One of the haiku arts is creating sequences. They might be narrative, all on a theme, or have some particular creative constraint or central idea. 

Here is a sequence of his:

After the Fall

First published in Mirrors 3:4, Autumn 1990, page 23.

winter wind—
       a wisp of snow
              curls into the well

spring wind—
       a cherry blossom
              circles the well

summer wind—
       the sparrow’s reflection
              flies from the well

autumn wind—
       her forget-me-not
              spirals into darkness

Adelaide B. Shaw’s sequence The Dust Bowl offers a longer treatment:

The Dust Bowl

early morning
before the wind rises
a glimpse of the sun

feeding chickens
the children tethered
to a rope

rolling dust
the horizon opens
and closes

wind gusting—
another meal of potatoes
and grit

picked corn
beneath the dust
more dust

clothes on the line
the first dry and dirty
before the last

sheriff’s auction
her good china divided
into sets of two

Sunday service
prayers for rain
blown away

sweat down my face—
counting the roads
out of town

© 2012 Haiku Society of America

As you can see, the sequence features a title. This can refer to the unifying idea or framework in which the haiku appear. They can be as short as a pair, or as long as the poet chooses. Note, also, that the poets both juxtapose two images within each haiku. These images relate to the theme or unifying framework of the sequence, as the haiku themselves do, as well.

Now it’s your turn. Write a haiku sequence on any theme that you like. Use a minimum of three haiku.

You can write your haiku using the traditional 5-7-5 syllable count. Alternatively, you can write haiku that can be read aloud in a breath, using a short-long-short format, without a syllable count.

Remember to use a title and be sure there is a connection in the haiku within your sequence.

New to dVerse? Here’s what you do:

  • Write a haiku sequence
  • Post it on your personal site/blog
  • Include a link back to dVerse in your post.
  • Copy your link onto the Mr. Linky
  • Remember to click the small checkbox about data protection.
  • Read and comment on some of your fellow poets’ work.
  • Like and leave a comment below if you choose to do so.

Have fun!