Celebrating Haiku Poetry Day

Yesterday was International Haiku Poetry Day, a day to globally celebrate the ancient Japanese art form. We love all forms of poetry here at Bits Bobs & Books, so we couldn’t let this day go by without commemorating it.

Here, the wonderful Izzy Knight shares her collection of haikus. She also discusses the inspiration behind them, and explains what this beautiful form of poetry means to her.

Izzy is an actor-singer/poet currently living in her hometown of Oxford. Although not currently working as a professional writer, she hopes to one day see an anthology of her favourite works published.

An Anthology of Haikus by Izzy Knight

a feeling hit me

I had to call, then and there

and say I love you

Sometimes, you read something and it sparks such a feeling in you that you have the urge to do something that quickly. This haiku came about when I was reading a poem and was struck with the urge to tell someone I loved them.

as the night unfolds

I desperately reach for the

faintest trace of you

Having to get used to sleeping alone again absolutely sucks. Missing someone, craving affection, those feelings inspired this one.

blankets, clinging close,

like a lover’s warm embrace

but not close enough

Winter is cuddle season, and when you’re alone for it, you find yourself craving affection. If you look hard enough, you’ll find it in anything – but it’s never enough. 

with a heavy heart,

seemingly unimportant,

I wait endlessly

It’s a killer when you believe you’re at the top of someone’s priority list and they keep letting you down. But so often in these situations, you don’t give up on them – you’ll sit and wait forever if you need to.

warm tea and kisses

are the perfect companions

for blankets of snow

Snow day is so exciting! You’re thrown back to times of nostalgia, you remember being a kid, playing around and being silly with your friends. As an adult, those feelings remain but you know there are some upgrades – the dream on a snow day now is being snuggled up with someone you love with a warm drink.

“can you forgive me?”

how can I not, when your laugh

sinks into my bones?

Arguments always suck. But sometimes, when you care about someone so much, you’re happy to drop it even if it hasn’t been resolved. A single laugh can be enough to convince you everything is alright again (but deep down, you know it’s not).

I am so damn drunk

I didn’t mean to wake you

now I feel awful (04:48am)

Genuinely for this one, I woke my mum up and she was very upset. Sometimes there isn’t a deep meaningful reason to write.

“hello beautiful”

my soul lightens, worries leave

your voice brings me home

There are times where you feel like a person is your safety. A day fraught with anxiety and troubles, and something as simple as their voice can settle every loud, overbearing thought you’ve had. That was the inspo for this one.

I yearn for success

but, I fall at every turn

what else can I do?

Mental health is a killer. Even more so when you feel that it knocks you down every step of the way in your ambitions. It can make you feel hopeless.

and then; the day’s gone

I continue to miss you,

thank god you love me

Long distance relationships suck. Every day can feel like a month. When you do have a day together, it zooms past and you don’t feel like you ever had a chance to not miss them.

a campfire crackles

rustling leaves sigh with content

time with friends, well spent

a campfire roaring

personalities splinter

discussions are stood

apart, blooming; collapsing;

a mixed mimicry of wood

a campfire falters

yawns tip-toe from branch to branch

exhaustion cascades

caveman tradition ensues

with blinking eyes, int’rest fades

a campfire, dimming

cautious, simmering embers

silently thank us

I wrote this set on a camping trip – at different stages of the night, I added something extra on. I know there’ll be some of you who notice a couple of verses following a different structure than a haiku, and very good spot! These 5/7/5/7/7 structured poems are called tankas, another style of Japanese poetry, just with some extra syllables thrown in! I very rarely like to rhyme but I fancied it when I was writing these. I’m pleased with the outcome!

I bloody love haikus. Often, I find my brain is so jumbled and my thoughts are so loud that if I tried to make sense of it all it would just look like a mess of words on a page. Writing haikus give me pause to consider my feelings and try to note them down in a concise way. The way I write them differs from their traditional style, but they make me happy. 

You can follow Izzy on Twitter and Instagram

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