Haiku and Digital Storytelling

Image by Frida Eyjolfs


Yesterday, Narrative Magazine invited submissions to the second annual Haiku contest for a poem incorporating the theme of the fall season. (http://www.narrativemagazine.com/node/58211). This 5-7-5-syllable form of writing once again tugged at me to visualize

Waterfowl swimming

through gray rocks and rising fog

rise in autumn flight.

Today, the muse continues to dance and I wrote “Autumn Morning”:

Clear blue autumn sky:
Light shining through golden trees
Illuminates me.

The form of Haiku causes me to visualize what I’m trying to convey and takes me to a place of deep reflection; familiar and hallowed ground to one who is engaged in the power digital storytelling. Like Haiku poetry, my digital stories (example) are an attempt to explore my own personal narrative, ask myself truthful and sometimes painful questions in hope that the process will reveal deeper meaning to my own experiences. Both Haiku and digital storytelling require deep reflection and both transform everyday writing into new forms; one might even argue, new languages.

Like Haiku poetry, digital storytelling is a distillation process. Both can use words to create mental pictures and convey story. However, digital storytelling is empowered by the language of images, sounds, transitions, timing and metaphor to convey meaning. It may in fact be approaching story from a 180 degree direction.

If there is a parallel in the reflective process of these two mediums, how can one inform the other? Can the 5-7-5 structure of Haiku be used to more elegantly distill digital stories? I know it is true that the selection, order and delivery of images can convey different meaning. I know that the practice of telling a story with the limitation of 5 images has been widely explored. I am however unfamiliar with any exploration of limiting stories to the use and delivery of images in the 5-7-5 format. This begs me to explore the notion. I am wise enough at this point in my life to realize that new ideas are very rare and I’m sure that others have already journeyed down this path.

I’m taking my first steps.


  1. Good luck with your haiku projects, and all your other ventures.

    For a simple overview of non 5-7-5 contemporary haiku praised by Japanese; British; and American haiku writers: Haiku weblink

    all my best,

    Alan, With Words

  2. Alan,

    What a nice surprise
    to find a comment from one
    with knowledge of Haiku poems

    Thank you for your wishes and the link.