* 17 syllables in all: 3 lines 5-7-5 * make reference to nature or seasons * a concentrated one-breath verse form * deceptively simple * does not intellectualise * Comes from the sense, not the mind * set in present tense * stirs a mood by presenting an image * often implies a comparison between two things. * is an immediate impression * is an image that implies far more than it says.
On a withered branch A crow has just alighted Nightfall in autumn Basho
All night this headland Lunges into the rumpling Capework of the wind Richard Wlibur (1921)
What is a haiku
* It is a 17th century Japanese verse form. * It is brilliantly adapted to Japanese minimalist culture and Japanese language. * 17th century poet, Basho, is probably still Japan's best exponent. * Many Westerners misuse the form, and a controversial decision in a NZ competition awarded first prize to a poet who had disregarded the form completely. * It is a useful discipline in language, whatever the tongue.
Write a haiku a day for a week. Post them on your Facebook page if you have one. Encourage your friends to do the same.