These haiku were composed by students in JPNSE 0083 “Introduction to Japanese Literature.”  The students were asked to compose haiku about familiar places, either at home or here at the University of Pittsburgh, and to include photos or headnotes as they saw fit.  The following collection is just a sample of the work of our talented poets!

Four floors full of books

with students piled inside

immersed in essays


(Alison Sabolcik)

My small hands release,

The toad plunges, belly first,

The sound of water.

(Kayko Okawa)

Cassandra Dawe

A shining gemstone

Cradled by our three rivers:

My heart, my true home.

(Cassandre Dawe)

Haiku in response to my hometown, Jinan, which is a beautiful Chinese city with rich historical backgrounds.

Belt of mists and clouds,

Are the secret and beauty

of grand Mountain Tai.

(Yuan Gao)


To be Rocked to Sleep

by the Lullaby of Cars

Speeding Down the Street

(Kristopher Hobel)

Spanning the buildings
The crows congregate as one
To keep warm tonight

(Katelyn Pellegrino)

PNC Park

Intense summer games

The buildings colored with light

The sight warms the heart

 (Andrew Lynn)

This haiku is a memory from last spring when it was a nice day on the lawn underneath the Cathedral of Learning. That day and the view is still a very vivid memory.

The grass on my neck

Tickles as I gaze upward

At the very peak

(Aidan Obritz)

Can’t find the bus stop.

Downtown — I’m so confused now.

Sixth and Wood, I’m lost.

(Sydney Leslie)

Past the Art Museum,

Biking down through the darkness,

Alone with my thoughts

(Cindy Dinh)





Cindy Dinh


Lovingly referred to as

“Home of the Cheesesteaks”

(Cindy Dinh)

Home (Easton)

Easton to Cali.

I now learn that home is not

Always about place.

(Ben McClymont)

Finished the exams

I finally graduated

Stay in or move out

(Wenqian Yang)

The Tunnel

A long stretch of dark

Reaching the end I see it

The light of Pittsburgh

(Oliver Jia)


Prometheus tied 

to three rivers, bleeding

innards: cars, repeat

(Nick Zak)

I have lived in the same apartment building for two years now, and for some reason a massive amount of crows have decided to suddenly lay claim to the trees outside. They arrived in early November and have been there ever since. Walking to class at dusk when they appear most active, I am torn between feelings of humor at the ridiculous number of crows, and terror at the ridiculous number of crows. I think these crows, as creatures of death, are emblematic of both the weather and my sentiments going into finals week.


The crows’ piercing caws—

Leaves swirl in the winter wind.

“Screw you, December.”

(James Westbay)

Wesley Hackman

City of rivers

Does the sun ever come out?

Where do I go now?

(Wesley Hackman)

Butler, PA

Within my village

An ancient church is set

Holding out time

(Cody Karch)

In the window of

the warm local bakery.

Christmas cookies sit.

(Sean Poorman)

The incline

Suspended ascent

Winter air frosts the city


 (Laura Patterson)


The Tunnels are closed

Potholes everywhere you look

Construction ahead

(Mike Fitzgerald)

Stewartsville, N.J.

The mighty pine tree

Stands firmly in the front yard,

Covered in fresh snow

(Marc Damato)


Fabulous design

A house standing on water

I want to live there

(Yonghui Li)

The Duquesne Incline (Pittsburgh)
Life seems different

When you’re on top of the world.

(Or at least Pittsburgh)

 (Ben McClymont)

Cassandre Dawe

Stewartsville, N.J.

The mighty pine tree

Stands firmly in the front yard,

Covered in fresh snow

(Marc Damato)


Flying back and forth

A second home in Japan

Don’t you love sushi?

(Shih-Hao Chu)

With music blasting

And cars surrounding us all

Traffic is the worst

(Sara Sanders)

My grandmother’s house in Lawrenceville

Summer’s heat simmers

Smells of fresh pierogis spread.

I can’t wait to eat

(Andrea Radziminski)


Black and yellow hues

Bleed from our proud, steadfast veins.

Go Steelers! Go Pens!

(Cecilia Chi)

The lips of the sky

Pull back into grey clouds and

Send light streaming down

(Christine Chidron)

The swings in the park

That Korean restaurant

Home is nostalgia

(Alex Chew)

It’s cold all day long

It’s daytime half of the year

City of bridges

(Gustavo Ayes)


The high bell tower

Cast a long shadow on cars

Majestic figure

 (Wenhua Wu)

Hometown (Philly suburbs)

Forest trails in parks

My dog pees on a small bush

Satisfied, he runs

 (Tracy Lam)

Victory lights

Distant in the sky

Could I be seeing this right?

Triumphant again!

 (Marisa DiGiulio)


Sun prepares to rest

Gives the world one final show

Fire in the sky

(Marisa DiGiulio)