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Can you write Haiku?

29 Sep

Do you know what 俳句 (Haiku) is?

It’s a type of Japanese poem.

Haiku has a very unique Japanese form that is quite different from what is considered a poem in western culture.

First of all, Haiku don’t need to have rhyming verses that are important in western-style poems.
Secondly, Haiku are written in 17 “syllables” * . The first line has five syllables*, the next one has seven, and then five again.

(* These aren’t “syllables” in the western language sense. For example, the word “Haiku” has two syllables to a native-English speaking person’s ears…”Hai-ku”. But in Japanese, 「俳句」 (Haiku) is 「はいく」 (Ha-i-ku)…three “syllables”.)

Also, to write proper Haiku, a word that conjures up an image of a season must be used. For example, “Cherry Blossoms” could be used as a “Springtime” Haiku since those flowers bloom in the spring.

One of the most famous Haiku is:

古池や蛙飛びこむ水の音。 (“Fu-ru-i-ke-ya” (5 “syllables”) “ka-wa-zu-to-bi-ko-mu” (7) “mi-zu-no-o-to” (5)).

It was written by 松尾芭蕉 (Matsuo Bashou) in the year 1686.

The “season word” in this Haiku is 「蛙」 (frog)…it symbolizes “spring time” because frogs can be seen in the spring.

In English, this Haiku means: “The ancient pond, A frog jumps in. The sound of the water.

Can you write Haiku (in English or Japanese)?