Writing Haiku With Your Girlfriend, By Jess C. Kuhn

by Feb 14, 2019

One way to swirl up imaginative juices with your partner, in times of potential lackluster fluttering or in a dry spell on romantic river beds, is to share in the experience of mutual poetic expression. An easy introduction to this exercise is to experiment with the lean, playful and highly adaptable haiku form.

Traditionally, we understand the haiku as a three-line poem, with roots in Japanese word-craft, a couple of precise lines of sensory detail and observational imagery, with the final words cutting and diverting into a grounded concept of place and vision. In that respect, the loose spool of rules unravels and the trading of lines with your lover, can send you both wandering on whimsical and creative paths, like the ancient poets of old.

If you need a place to start on your haiku adventure, simply begin by describing your environment. This will give your tight and short lines a proper placement in time and space. Then, just add a pinch of personal perception and welling feelings to round off your inventive three lines. The quest of any great haiku is to find the fantastical in the ordinary, and to allow the power of your senses to lead the way.

Keep in mind, all written lines can be interchangeable and mix in any way you see fit; therefore, you will witness the joy and freedom of a haiku unfolding before you and beloved’s twinkling eyes.

Here are a few haiku examples composed by my girlfriend and I over a weekend, where environment, intimacy and sensory begin to tangle in surprising and insightful ways.

In a room with shades drawn:

Naked toes

Tops of trees

Deer bed in the snow

Eyes strung together

Low tide blue

Hips drown in twilight


At a bar with tall windows:

Red faced, white expression

Suffocated in bleach

Pattern of black birds fall

Old men on bar stools,

Iced gargoyle

Her cat eye winks

Bored couples on their phones

Bush league American flags

A mule laps up a lemon

Thus, with a few attempts at exchanging lines, you may realize that haiku becomes an inspiring and entertaining act of private or public artistic affection, taking place wherever you both may please.


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