Whittled Words – Haiku Sonnet



Welcome to the weekly series, Whittled Words. A series highlighting the innumerable types and styles of poetry to challenge any creative wordsmith. This week’s selection:




The basic premise of the haiku sonnet is simple: 4 3-liner haiku plus a couplet of either 5 or 7 syllables adds up to 14 lines, the same number of lines found in a sonnet. However, unlike a sonnet, there is no structured rhyme scheme.

To write a haiku sonnet, you really need to know how to write haiku. A verse of haiku is three lines, with five syllables, seven syllables, and five syllables respectively. The stricter rules of traditional Japanese haiku we will save for another entry in this series. Modern Japanese haiku varies from the tradition of 17 syllables or taking nature as their subject. But the use of juxtaposition continues to be honored in both traditional and modern haiku.


Examples of Haiku Sonnet:


North and Sedgewick

By David Marshall


 They wait at the signs
telling them it’s a bus stop,
trying not to see

each other, the sky,
anything close to here. Some
have papers or books

to take them away,
but they stare too. The bus is
more reliable.

The middle distance
promises some salvation,
a sweep of motion

that, across the street, appears
to make them vanish.


Harlequin Friend

By Brad Osborne

(edited from the original)

Ne’er on my shoulder

Need wrap insincere your arm

Vaudevillian hook

Scant words hold tenor

Thoughts of hate bellowed off key

Untuned piano

Breath falling like leaves

Lies leaping from crooked tree

Exhausted blue smoke

What need be for you

Cunning mask never broken

A harlequined friend

Hiding fangs behind your lips

Even with bows teasing low


I hope you have enjoyed this entry to the series, Whittled Words. I look forward to your comments, and if you dare, maybe share your own Haiku Sonnet. Thanks for reading!




9 Responses to “Whittled Words – Haiku Sonnet”
  1. meenawalia says:

    Not as talented as u to even dare to attempt writing it but loved reading it.

    • Brad Osborne says:

      I would argue that you are certainly talented enough. I have seen your writing and poetry grow of the recent months. You have found a tone and style that is uniquely yours and I encourage you to continue your writing journey. But to think that any of the styles I cover are beyond your abilities is sheer nonsense. You cannot be limited for there are no boundaries for you and your talent!

      • meenawalia says:

        U know what Brad I have immense respect for your talent and a compliment from u means a lot to me..thanks a lot dear😊

  2. meenawalia says:

    Better tone surrounded by enemies who atleast keep you alert than being with masked friends..loved reading this one..

  3. Jim Borden says:

    I was only familiar with the basic three0line haiku – thanks for broadening y horizons!

  4. Harley Unhinged says:

    Love yours but I may be biased 💋

  5. yassy says:

    So interesting, I think I may want to write my next in this form.

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] forms in one. Both a Haiku Sonnet and an acrostic poem. And again, written for Eugi’s dancing […]

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