Haiku New Zealand asked me a while back to write up a list of my favorite haiku for their web site, which I agreed to do even though I thought it would be very hard. I was wrong. I won’t say any more about that because I say it over at Haiku New Zealand, so check it out.

So now I’m curious about what other people’s favorite haiku are. Do you have any? Do you think it would be hard to decide on some? What do you think of my choices? What are you having for lunch? Comment below.



*One of my favorite things about this entire project was having my bland American spelling of “favorite” corrected to make it more New Zealand-y.


11 thoughts on “favourite*

  1. I do have favorites, though I’d be hard-pressed to choose a select few. One of my latest favorites I found on Fay’s wonderful site:

    my wife tonight
    must be playing
    with rabbits on the moon

    Inao Ito

    I always think of this one first, when thinking of favorites:

    this piercing cold I feel
    my dead wife’s comb, in our bedroom
    under my heel . . . .

    Interesting how they are both about a dead wife. Thanks for asking the question. I think I may start a new page on my blog collecting my favorite haiku, old and new.

      • I read that just recently, and my appreciation for the poem grew. You’ve got me thinking about favorites now whenever I read something new. “Hmmm. Could this go on my favorite list? Does it have that staying power?” 🙂

  2. I’ve been in transit for about 24 hours (Houston-Amsterdam-Khartoum-Addis). I ate a lot, but I’m not sure which meal was lunch. I had white wine with breakfast, though I’m certain it was supper time for me. Anyway, it was nice to get back home and read your favourites list. A nice selection.

  3. Great list. Hard to decide which haiku are my “favourites” mate. I suppose the more one reads the more choices there are. And the list grows and grows. I think it’s a great idea to identify poems that resonate with you, as a poet. And to memorize them–thanks, I knew I forgot to make a New Year’s resolution — Note to self: memorize favorite haiku.

    Thanks again Melissa. Here’s a few I like:

    catfish on a stringer
    moves up and down
    becoming dusk

    -Robert Spiess

    picking up a jellyfish . . .
    my lifeline
    clear and deep

    –Dhugal Lindsay

    oh, one more:

    the felled oak
    bending to fit
    the earth

    –Jane Reichhold

  4. Oh this is torture—just a few faves…

    Robert Hass’s translation of Issa:

    The snow is melting
    and the village is flooded
    with children

    Just one from the magnificent collection A Crown of Roses by Sayumi Kamakura:

    A child resembling
    her father starts to race
    toward the sun

    And again, trying to choose just one by my friend Peter Newton, from his collection What We Find:

    we wait
    for the heat to break
    milkweed pod

    (For one reason, because I always misread that one as “for the heart to break”—which then makes me do a double-take and contemplate how Peter the trickster makes us see something that isn’t there, but is…)


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