March - May 2020

Small poem, global reach.




A global album of haiku-style poems in which to document and share our collective coronavirus, quarantine, and social distancing experiences.

PROJECT SUMMARY: From March to late May 2020, we collected and posted haiku-style poems—called coronakus—on the topic of global quarantine and social distancing measures. This was very much a community endeavor, and the call for contributions was issued to poets and non-poets alike. Thank you to everyone who participated. Scroll down to reach our coronaku gallery, and stay tuned for more One Planet Poetry projects.

What is a coronaku?

Traditionally, haiku is a form of Japanese poetry consisting of three lines and seventeen syllables: 5 in the first line, 7 in the second, and 5 in the third. Often, haiku has nature as its subject.

A coronaku is a simple twist on haiku. A coronaku contains a fourth line consisting of one word (of any syllable length). Why? Because it's unexpected—and so are the circumstances in which we currently find ourselves as a global community.

The subject of a coronaku can be anything related to the writer's experience of the current coronavirus pandemic and its accompanying quarantine, self-isolation, and social distancing measures.

Below are the coronakus we received from March to late May 2020. For many, this time period marked the start of quarantine/lockdown measures related to the coronavirus.

Coronaku Gallery: We Are One Planet

(Click on a single poem to enlarge it.)

How to Write a Coronaku

A coronaku is slightly different from a traditional haiku.

  • Write a first line that contains 5 syllables.

  • Write a second line that contains 7 syllables.

  • Write a third line that contains 5 syllables again.

  • Now, write a fourth line that contains just one word (of any syllable length).

  • Your poem may or may not contain punctuation or capitalization, as you choose.

Your coronaku should relate to your experience with the coronavirus or with quarantine, self-isolation, or social distancing measures. That doesn't mean it has to mention those things, however. How are you spending your time these days? What are you thinking, wishing, planning, noticing?

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