July 7, 2010
For those who are still have not discovered that haiku do not have to be written in three lines of 5-7-5 syllables, the recent issue of Simply Haiku contains an explanation of the form by Robert D. Wilson. It is worth reading--I found the part about kire to be particularly helpful. (Kire are cutting words--in English, we use punctuation in their place.)
After you've read Wilson's article, read the rest of the journal, too! You'll find other forms you may not be familiar with--haibun and tanka. I'm a newcomer to tanka, having only started experimenting with it over the past year. I've been writing haibun for less time than that.
In his article, "Defining Haiku," Wilson mentions Patricia Donegan and her book Haiku: Asian Arts & Craft for Creative Kids (Tuttle Publishing, 2003). As a librarian, I purchased the book for my library's collection. It's one of the best explanations of haiku, for kids (and adults), that I have come across. It's worth checking out from your local public library. If they don't have it, request it on interlibrary loan.