Frogpond 37.2 • 2014

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay - Haiku and War


Haiku Sequence


Book Reviews

From the Editors


Haiku and War

by Paul Miller, Bristol, RI

Haiku and War
by Paul Miller, Bristol, RI

(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

Part one of this essay, published in Frogpond 37:1, outlined the landscape of war haiku. I looked at its history, who was writing it, pointed out some major themes, and speculated upon why such poets might choose haiku over other genres. Finally I looked at haiku that referenced particular conflicts and suggested that such haiku might be useful in building a vertical axis.

In the concluding part of this essay, I will make a distinction between haiku written by participants in war and those written by outside commentators to see if there is any important difference. I will explore haiku that take a moral stand, examine the idea of authenticity in war haiku, and conclude with concerns about historical revision.


In part one of this essay I didn’t make a differentiation between poems written by participants in the various conflicts and those written by commentators. In fact, most of the poems presented in part one were written by actual participants: either combatants or those physically affected by war as either civilians in a war zone or as refugees. However, there is a large population of war haiku written by commentators. In the United States, the number of haiku by commentators far outweighs the haiku of actual participants.

Haiku by commentators can be found in any number of places. The first poems I’d like to look at come from the Internet: in particular, several anti-war haiku walls. As would be expected, the quality isn’t always very high.

diarrhea, cholera
a humanitarian gift
to Iraqi children


What wise forefathers
once gave, Gucci-loafered faux
fathers take away.


[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Miller, Paul. "Haiku and War." Frogpond 37.2, Spring/Summer, 2014, 99-122.

This excerpt inclues the first page of Miller's essay: page 99. The complete essay includes pages 99-122. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

Haiku and War
by Paul Miller, Bristol, RI

(complete PDF version)


Paul Miller is the editor of Modern Haiku. His haiku and essays have been widely published and anthologized. He most recently won the Haiku Society of America Mildred Kanterman Award and Haiku Foundation Touchstone Award for his latest collection, Few Days North Days Few (Red Moon Press, 2011).