National Haiku Day – Take the Challenge!

This blog post about
The ancient art of haiku:
Challenging to write.

April 17th happens to be National Haiku Day, and we here at Marbles: The Brain Store are pretty excited about the celebrations going on in multiple cities which pay tribute to this art form. For those of you who missed out on the definition during English class, a haiku is a poem consisting of a 5-syllable line, a 7-syllable line, and a third 5-syllable line. Very poor examples are scattered throughout this posting.

Japanese art form
Juxtapose two images;
Stream of thought gets cut.

There are a multitude of rules, restrictions, and definitions that many writers, readers, and scholars have debated in relation to the haiku since it first gained importance in 17th century Japan. The most important distinction is the fact that Japanese verse consists of sound units called “on”, which roughly translate into “syllables” but that does not do justice to the thoughts or emotions that can be communicated in Japanese. When writing in English, one is always attempting to fit unwieldy English into this most elegant of Japanese writing styles. Traditionally, as well, the haiku by definition must contain a seasonal reference, or kigo, which is why the majority of haiku have natural or pastoral themes.

Haiku is a word
Taking both singular and
Plural form; not unlike “sheep”.

One of the other major aspects of a haiku is the kireji, or “cutting word” which traditionally occurs in the third final line, ending the train of thought or providing an ironic counterpoint to the previous two lines’ images.

The cutting word is
The end point of one’s haiku;
Lets verse stand alone.

Of course, the whole point of exploring words and writing poetry is expression, and many writers today only take on the restriction of the 5-7-5 syllable structure, writing on whatever subject matter they wish—indeed, some don’t even restrict themselves to that structure—but that gets into what defines a haiku, and that’s an argument for a completely different blog post.

Of my examples
None of them could be seen as
Classical haiku.

A fantastic tool for wordsmiths (and language lovers), as well as a really fun way of playing around with words is Haikubes, a set of 63 cubes with words on each side, which you roll like dice to create poems randomly. Two extra cubes included in the package come with red text that you roll to give your haiku a specific theme, for example, “A Desire For” “My Future” or “A Vision For” “Our World”. Then roll the rest of the cubes and choose 17 syllables from what you have rolled to complete your haiku. The cubes are high-quality, and can be displayed and rearranged as often as you feel like it.

Haikubes turn party
From awkward conversation
Into clever blast.

Haiku Challenge

We realize poetry isn’t normally competitive, but we’d like to have a little fun in honor of National Haiku Day.  Leave your best Marbles: The Brain Store-themed haiku in the comments below.  One lucky creative haiku artist will win a set of Haikubes!

For more information on National Haiku Day, visit
For a fun twist on the form, try the Genuine Haiku Generator:
To purchase Haikubes, visit us at:
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28 Responses to National Haiku Day – Take the Challenge!

  1. Katje Sabin says:

    With inspiration,
    Minds will open like spring buds;
    Ludo ergo sum!

  2. Tammy says:

    Always something new
    To play and think and haiku
    Marbles is the place.

  3. Robert Smith says:

    The games that we play
    will stimulate your spirit,
    exercise your mind!

    (Happy Haiku Day,
    and thanks for this fun challenge.
    Counting to five is… ugh, too many!

    Now you’ve got me hooked.
    Counting all these syllables
    is most addictive!)

  4. Michele says:

    On a windy day

    I have no wind in my sails

    Must need some Marbles

  5. Brent Graham says:

    Marbles: the Brain Store…
    Weekly visits, Dad and son.
    We love the challenge!

  6. Shaun says:

    Spring water flows on
    Marbles contest challenges
    Carpe diem, dude!

  7. Jon says:

    Sweet coincidence,
    Five beats in the store’s full name.
    Marmles…damned typo.

    Spring brings a calm mind,
    and the warming winds help me
    solve my sudoku.

  8. Derek says:

    An off-hand entry
    Why no thought? I love Marbles
    But I am at work

  9. Danillya says:

    Haikus are easy,
    But they don’t always make sense.
    Marbles: The Brain Store.

  10. Christina says:

    Japanese poems
    Hai kan’t seem to write them well
    Guess I need Haikubes

  11. Rafael says:

    Marbles in my brain
    Cut the chains,and boredom
    Is drained,far away.

  12. sue Hooge says:

    Teaching fifth graders

    The art of writing Haiku

    Losing my marbles!

  13. Annie says:

    Sunlight on the marsh,
    brown and orange turn to green
    Spring tides bring color.

  14. Bobby O says:

    Cook high for seven
    Haiku for Marbles for more
    Feed body and mind.

  15. Asura Osborne says:

    a new way to live
    if wind blows between your ears
    marbles: the brain store

    stretching human’s brains
    in the way of a new bud
    learn from the brain store!

  16. Amy M says:

    We should stop and play
    Using, not losing, marbles.
    Alone or together.

  17. Nicole says:

    This is my 9 year old’s haiku about Johann Gutenberg (he just read his biography):

    Johann Gutenberg
    read and read and read and read
    But wanted more books.

    Here is one of mine:

    Star lights suffer, The
    city brightening as the
    Moon, trembling, weeps.

  18. Amorpoesia says:

    Marvel in Marbles
    Break bread with blossoming brains
    Smarts and smiles in store

  19. Nicole says:

    OOPS! Regarding my last haiku:

    Trembling is a word
    That only has two, not three,
    Syllables that is.

    (See why I need those cubes?)

  20. angie says:

    That’s one of those tricky words that you could argue a case for either way. Correction haiku is cool!

  21. Tiff says:

    The gym for the mind
    Puzzles and brain games galore
    Don’t lose your Marbles!

    (That was a bit lame
    Ego sum ​​non peritus
    I can’t write haikus!)

  22. Kevin says:

    They lay on the floor
    Glistening like sea water;
    my marbles and me.

    Shattered and broken
    the lines of a good haiku;
    you should write one too.

  23. Scott says:

    life is in the ring
    assess, knuckle down, take a shot
    win or lose the marbles

  24. Lori Fritsche says:

    games puzzles riddles strategy skill luck playing keeping our brains sharp

  25. Jeanine says:

    A roll of the dice
    Chance choices, unlikely pairs
    My favorite verse

  26. Jeanine says:

    Marbles the Brain Store
    World of wonder, feeds the soul
    Nourishing the mind

  27. Karen Moldt says:

    Rolling like marbles
    Ideas keep tumbling here
    Keeping my brain fit!

  28. Susan R. says:

    Much to my chagrin
    Cleverness has flown, like wind
    With Haikubes, could win.

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