The word 'haiku' is both singular and plural, so it is generally considered incorrect to say 'haikus'. Also, because the term is not a proper noun, the term should not be capitalized within a sentence. Haiku also do not rhyme and should not be titled (although there is a tradition in Japanese haiku that they occasionally have 'head-notes' that identify the place or circumstances of composition, but this should not be confused with a title).
Some Tips for Haiku Writers(From Wikipedia):
â€¢ To get inspiration and begin to understand the subtle emotions within images from nature, read the works of famous Classic haiku poets, such as Basho, Buson, Issa, or Shiki, but do try to read more modern or contemporary Japanese haiku writers to avoid writing in a pseudo Classic fashion.
â€¢ Write what you see, not what you feel. In the end, haiku are about emotions expressed through concrete images. When reading haiku, don't read them like you would other poems. Haiku are written to capture a feeling and image. Keep an open mind when reading haiku and try to feel what the writer was trying to get across. The more you read haiku, the easier they are to understand. Haiku has been called an "unfinished" poem because each one requires the reader to finish it in his or her heart.
â€¢ Remember that Japanese was originally a pictographic language. When it is written, it uses mostly picture characters to represent ideas visually instead of letters such as those in the English alphabet. Because there is so much difference between the Japanese language and our language, haiku in English will have some differences.
â€¢ There are some who say that haiku can just be a short fragment (no more than three words) followed by a phrase. The following is an example of such a structure, which is often very effective, but this example fails to have the necessary seasonal reference or to create an intuitive spark or leap of understanding in the relationship between the two parts.
small flat stones
line the shore
â€¢ The haiku doesn't have to be serious. It can be funny, although traditionalists might call it a 'senryu' rather than a 'haiku.' Please note that the following is not an example of senryu, but merely a three-line poem that attempts to be funny (this is the sort of poem that both haiku and senryu writers consider to be what has been called a 'pseudo-haiku' or 'pseudo-senryu'):
I like Cottage Cheese
Cottage Cheese is my favorite
Yummy Cottage Cheese
I Like this nice girl
She is in my English class
she doesn't like me
â€¢ To more clearly understand the relationship and difference between literary haiku and pseudo-haiku, please read John J. Dunphy's 'What is a haiku - and what isnâ€™t?' article: http://www.stltoday.com/entertainment/books-and-literature/book-blog/article_75c58829-afdf-5d19-8633-120a11378973.html
â€¢ It is worthwhile to read both classic and contemporary Japanese haiku poets in translation otherwise you will get a skewed perspective of what constitutes a 'Japanese haiku'.
â€¢ To get a good understanding of English-language haiku, the two most important books to read are William J. Higginson's 'Haiku Handbook' (Kodansha, 1989) and Cor van den Heuvel's 'The Haiku Anthology' (Norton, 1999, third edition).
â€¢ For serious students of haiku, it is worthwhile to join organizations such as the Haiku Society of America, Haiku Canada, or the British Haiku Society (there are many other similar organizations elsewhere in the world). It is also worthwhile to subscribe to leading haiku journals such as Modern Haiku and Frogpond (which comes with Haiku Society of America membership).
â€¢ Here's a good place to search for online haiku links: http://www.dmoz.org/Arts/Literature/Poetry/Forms/Haiku_and_Related_Forms/
â€¢ With Words gives an easy overview of haiku and its history in the West: http://www.withwords.org.uk
â€¢ For a basic overview of haiku strategies, read Michael Dylan Welch's 'Becoming a Haiku Poet': http://sites.google.com/site/graceguts/essays/becoming-a-haiku-poet