Haiku in Winter


Picture Credit: Carsten Huels

How did that happen?

It only seemed a moment ago, when I was walking through decaying leaves and pondering the poetic joys of Autumn when Winter arrives.

Here in the UK we have had a colder start to Winter than in past years. Temperatures have reached minus 9 degrees centigrade, in some areas, and snow has fallen in the North of England. It looks like a cold one and I’m happy, as I can hibernate in the poetry den for three months and get ahead with the poetry and writing.

Winter has provided the inspiration for many poets and poems and haiku is a genre of poetry where the theme of Winter is prominent. I have been reading a lot of haiku recently and there are perfect examples of haiku both, traditional and modern, inspired by the winter months.

Three of the masters of the haiku tradition Bashō, Buson and Issa all took inspiration from Winter and reading their work takes you to the heart and moment of the season. This haiku by Bashō (translated by Robert Hass) provides a perfect example.

Winter solitude-
in a world of one colour
the sound of wind.

From a more modern perspective Ruth Yarrow’s haiku captures the childhood joy that Winter and snowfall brings.

Before the sled moves
the little girls already

Thinking of winter and reading all this haiku has kicked my poetry mojo into action and I’ve come up with this one.

A frosted footpath
brown leaves glisten and curl in
the morning sunshine

Do you have a favourite haiku or poem about Winter? Better still, how about writing one of your own and sharing.

I would love to hear from you.


Loved this post, Davy! I had not realized winter was such a prolific theme in haiku, so you’ve educated me 🙂 And I love your haiku, it’s superb–both the imagery, and the feelings it evokes.

Liked by 2 people

Great piece Dave, capturing the remnants of Autumn being pushed out by the Winter. I’m envious of your ability to hibernate through the winter months and write.

Liked by 2 people

I have been wanting to write about winter but because i live in a tropical country i don’t have a first hand experience of such…making it difficult to write…but your post here gave me just the best idea..

Liked by 1 person

Hmm, you just might tempt me into trying my hand at poetry. I enjoy hearing about your winter writing plans.

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