haiku

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Haiku (Jap.). A verse form consisting of three lines: five, seven, and five syllables in length. Traditionally, each poem also contains an image or reference associated with one of the seasons in the year. Originally conceived as a form of amusement verse, the haikai utilized colloquialisms and words derived from Chinese, terms expressly forbidden in the more formal, high form of verse called waka. Only in the early 16th cent. did haikai come to be viewed as a legitimate poetic genre in its own right.

Mainly through the impact of Matsuo Bashō (1644–94) and his successors, the literary form assumed religious, specifically Zen Buddhist, dimensions.

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hai·ku / ˈhīˌkoō; ˌhīˈkoō/ • n. (pl. same or -kus ) a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. ∎  an English imitation of this.

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haiku (hī´kōō), an unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment keenly perceived, in which nature is linked to human nature. It usually consists of 17 jion (Japanese symbol-sounds). The term is also used for foreign adaptations of the haiku, notably the poems of the imagists. These poems are usually written in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. See senryu.

See the anthology ed. by H. G. Henderson, Introduction to Haiku (1958).

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haiku In Japanese literature, a poetic form consisting of 17 syllables in five-seven-five pattern. Haikus originally evoked a moment in nature. Matsuo Basho (1644–94) is considered to be the finest exponent of the form.

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haiku a Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five, traditionally evoking images of the natural world. The form originated in the 16th century.

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haikuBaku, raku •haiku • Shikoku • cuckoo