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Haiku Poetry

Improving stress and rhythm – Haiku Poetry

English pronunciation tends to group words and phrases into ‘thought groups’ – a series of words that we think about at one time, followed by a pause for breath. In order to practise how groups of words cluster together when we pronounce English, you might like to repeat some of the ‘haiku’ poems below.

A ‘haiku’ poem consists of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. Traditionally, a haiku shows two contrasting images, one that suggests time and place, the other a vivid, rapid observation. The examples below are humorous ones about computers. Try concentrating on pronouncing the words in each line in one breath, and then pausing slightly. Try recording yourself and see if your pronunciation sounds natural.

click to listen to the haiku poem 



Windows NT crashed.

I am the Blue Screen of Death.

No one hears your screams.


Yesterday it worked.

Today it is not working.

Windows is like that.


Your file was so big.

It might be very useful.

But now it is gone.


Stay the patient course.

Of little worth is your ire.

The network is down.


A crash reduces

Your expensive computer

To a simple stone.


Three things are certain :

Death, taxes and lost data.

Guess which has occurred.


You step in the stream,

But the water has moved on.

This page is not here.


Out of memory.

We wish to hold the whole sky,

But we never will.


Having been erased,

The document you’re seeking

Must now be retyped.


Serious error.

All shortcuts have disappeared.

Screen. Mind. Both are blank.




The content was prepared by Dr Gerard Sharpling, Magdalena Kijak and June McCready