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What Is Haiku?

Haiku is a Japanese traditional art of poetry. Haiku has its spiritual roots on Zen Buddhist philosophy, which reflects both brevity and simplicity. This particular art form was said to have begun in the 17th century. The main function of the haiku is to relay the very spirit of a particular experience in a format that is extremely short. The traditional form of haikus would usually revolve around nature themes or describe nature images. Most have a tone that is wistful.

The term “haiku” came about as a response to the confusion that has surfaced because of Japanese poetry terms that are actually closely related to each other. For example, Hokku (which translates to “starting verse”) was the root of a much longer connection of verses, which was called haika. Hokku was widely considered to be an exclusive poetry art form so poets would usually make a hokku and then just abruptly stop. Haiku as a term was officially coined in the 1890s as a way of describing a new type of poetry.

The haiku requires practitioners to follow very stringent rules, though haikus that are written in other languages are given more leeway and a degree of flexibility. But everyone still has to follow the same pattern.

First off, and the most recognizable rule of the haiku is that it must have three sentences, and each sentence must have five, seven and five syllables. The haiku must also be divided into two parts. Each part is not dependent on each other but seeks to enhance each other.

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