Haiku Poetry

Haiku Poems

Japanese Culture Haiku Poetry, Haiku Poems

Haiku Poetry 俳句(はいく)

(poems in 17 syllables)

Haiku is poetry structured in the set form of 17 syllables, arranged in groups of 5, 7,and 5. It derives from the first line of the linked verse which alternately repeats a line in groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, and a line in groups of 7 and 7 syllables; in the Edo Period(1603-1867), MATSUO Basho established its present form.

The designation haiku became widespread with the work of MASAOKA Shiki in the Meiji Period(1868-1912). Because haiku poetry can express the beauty of nature and the depths of the human heart in a brief form, it now has spread throughout the world and in the United States it is even part of one's education.

A season word, indicating the season, is included in haiku poetry in the original style. The season word brings out ideas associated with the background of the word, and, within the space of just 17 syllables, it adds breadth and depth to the verse.

The history of the modern haiku dates from Masaoka Shiki's reform, begun in 1892, which established haiku poetry as a new independent poetic form. Shiki's reform did not change two traditional elements of haiku poems: the division of 17 syllables into three groups of 5, 7, and 5 syllables and the inclusion of a seasonal theme. Kawahigashi Hekigoto carried Shiki's reform further with two proposals:

  1. Haiku poetry would be truer to reality if there were no center of interest in it.
  2. The importance of the poet's first impression, just as it was, of subjects taken from daily life, and of local color to create freshness.

Examples of Haiku Poems:

The flowers outside
Hide under snow until spring
like shy teenage girls

Now that I've lost you
What do I do when you're here
With you, without you

 

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