First Frost, #haiku

I’ve been doing a thorough analysis of haiku, senryu and pseudo-haiku (sometimes called failed haiku). Haiku has always been one of my favorites, and the use of a season word (kigo) is what fulfills the true meaning of a haiku. These season words are essential to the understanding of haiku. Haiku and nature are forever connected.

silver hair...
winter's first frost
touches her eyes

© Colleen M. Chesebro

We write haiku by giving our readers at least two images to connect with. The idea is to create a juxtaposition between the two images.

In the haiku above, I compare silver hair to winter’s first frost. Then, I take the images a step further… I compare winter’s first frost to the glint of age (glaucoma, possibly?) showing in her eyes. However, there is also a connection to the impermanence of time. After all, we all grow old. Winter also signifies death, as the natural world is in hibernation waiting for spring to reawaken the dormant world.

Image by ThuyHaBich from Pixabay

But the season is critical to making this haiku work. It’s easy to see that we lose the deep connection if we remove the kigo of winter’s first frost.

This haiku is part of #TankaTuesday. Join in HERE and write some color poetry.

I hope this helps you craft haiku. Namaste & Blessed Be!


  1. So much said in so few words!
    And looking forward to learning more about Zappais!
    Thank you for letting us discover and learning new forms each time!


  2. Colleen, aside from you being a fantastic poet, you’re also an amazing teacher – thank you so much for breaking your thinking down – I really appreciate you taking the time.



    1. David, thank you for such a wonderful compliment. I’ve been studying haiku for several years and I always felt like I couldn’t get it just right. All this research for my new book is paying off. It’s the two images connecting in some interesting way and the kigo that make it a haiku. ❤


  3. This one really touched me Colleen. And I love the explanation. I sometimes forget to focus on the haiku connection with nature. The meaning/interpretation always gets me. A little poem can really pack a punch!



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