A friend showed me a website for an artist. There is a page filled with haikus he's written. Can someone verify the validity of the following haiku:

i don’t really

want to do


  • Hi welcome to Writers SE! Unfortunately critiques are off topic here. You can use samples of your writing to create your point of a question but ultimately here, you are asking us to validate a friend's poem or critique it.
    – ggiaquin16
    Aug 2, 2017 at 15:20
  • 4
    I do not believe this to be a critique request, as the question is not how to improve or how good is it, but just is this a haiku?
    – hildred
    Aug 3, 2017 at 15:18

2 Answers 2


No. There is a distinct pattern that is required. To wit:

a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world.

  • A poem in English written in the form of a haiku.

Oxford Dictionaries

What you presented does not fit the pattern.

  • 1
    This is also not any other common poetry scheme.
    – Weckar E.
    Aug 2, 2017 at 7:25
  • Thanks, I wanted to make sure before I called this guy out.
    – darylnak
    Aug 4, 2017 at 6:18
  • 2
    The 17 syllables are a carry-over from the Japanese language, and don't directly apply in English. Per the Haiku Society of America: "Most haiku in English consist of three unrhymed lines of seventeen or fewer syllables..."
    – freginold
    Jan 2, 2018 at 7:34

While an English language haiku is not typically constrained to 17 syllables, there are certain traditions that it often follows. Specifically (from the Haiku Society of America's definitions page):

Traditional Japanese haiku include a "season word" (kigo), a word or phrase that helps identify the season of the experience recorded in the poem, and a "cutting word" (kireji), a sort of spoken punctuation that marks a pause or gives emphasis to one part of the poem. In English, season words are sometimes omitted, but the original focus on experience captured in clear images continues.

The poem you shared doesn't seem to contain most of what would make a poem a haiku. However, an argument could be made that it would fit into the senryu category. Per the HSA:

A senryu is a poem, structurally similar to haiku, that highlights the foibles of human nature, usually in a humorous or satiric way.

Haiku and senryu are very subjective, and asking different people what constitutes one or the other will yield different answers. With respect to the poem you quoted, I would say it doesn't fit into either of those categories, and isn't really much of a poem at all -- really just a phrase split into three short lines.

If you want to classify it as something, you could call it pseudohaiku. Wiktionary.org defines pseudohaiku as:

False or free-form haiku; any form of syllabically parsimonious or otherwise pithy poetry, usually, comprising three lines of verse per poem.

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