About Harry Haikus

Updated August 5, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

by Holly Hartman


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Want to sound wise and solemn? Make people pay close attention to your words? Then put those words in haiku.

Haiku is a very old form of poetry from Japan. It consists of three unrhymed lines. Traditionally, the first and last lines have five syllables each, and the middle line has seven syllables. Notice how many syllables are in each line of this haiku by the 17th-century Japanese poet Basho. (Often when haiku is translated, however, the number of syllables is changed.)

from all directions
winds bring petals of cherry
into the bird lake


Having few words and pausing at the end of each short line gives a special feeling to haiku. Even a simple statement sounds thoughtful—as though it has a deeper meaning. Check out the examples below. We've taken some dialogue from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, and written it as if it were haiku.

Behold the Wisdom of Hogwarts

I hope you're pleased with
yourselves. We could all have been
killed—or worse, expelled.

Hermione Granger

I can teach you how
to bottle fame, brew glory
even stopper death

Professor Snape

Flint with the Quaffle—
passes Spinnet— passes Bell—
hit hard in the face

Lee Jordan, at Quidditch

how many times will
we be able to witness
a dragon hatching?

Ron Weasley

I can't see you. Are
you ghoulie or ghostie or
wee student beastie?

Peeves the Ghost

Hagrid, we saved the
Stone, it's gone, he can't use it.
Have a Choc'late Frog

Harry Potter

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