Haiku Canvas

Brevity is the soul to wit

Decorative only

Clear, concise, and impactful language is critical not just to spur:'s work, but for anyone looking to shift people's mindsets and behaviours.

Ask anyone to talk bout their idea, project, or passion and they can likely fill minutes or pages with explanation. Some formats and contexts allow this sort of long-form communication, however, more often than not simpler, shorter, more powerful language is needed.

But, as Shakespeare famously quoted in Hamlet "Brevity is the soul of wit". Condensing complex ideas into brief snapshots can be challenging. It's a skill to be practiced. So, we developed a a quick tool to help.

Haiku canvas

A haiku is a type of traditional Japanese poem that consists of three phrases set at 5,7, and 5 syllables (not words). It's important to note that the aim here isn't to create poetry, but we will borrow the syllable format and length. For example:

This is a hai-ku. (5)

The chal-lenge is in the length. (7)

Clarity a-waits. (5)

Because of the extremely brief format, haikus force the communicator to prioritise language and articulate only the most important points that need to be understood. A haiku about spur: might read:

To make world that is,

Fair, sustainable, and well.

We must move people.

Jumping straight from a complex idea into a haiku, so the below canvas is a short tool to guide you from a full paragraph, to a 50 word, summary to a 25 word summary, to a haiku.

TIP: You might notice once you've created your haiku, the clarity it offers means that you'll want to go back and rewrite your paragraph. This is totally normal.

Click here to download an A3-sized PDF of the canvas.