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Haiku is a type of poetic form as well as a way of describing and experiencing the world. A haiku is a very short, 17 syllable form. It usually consists of three lines with a 5 - 7- 5 syllable pattern. This seems deceptively simple, but the haiku form can take years to master. A well written haiku is based in the physical world of our senses, but suggests something more deep, and usually linked to nature and its existence.

However, a more modern version of haiku called free-form-haiku is more relaxed on terms of the subject (however, it must still be of a spiritual nature). The original form of haiku does not sound appealing when read aloud and the poet or reader who prefers to read poetry out loud may wish to use the free-form-haiku which can extend the syllable pattern to 6 – 8 –6 , this can sound a lot more appealing than the 5 – 7 –5 form and is becomingly increasingly popular recently.

The briefness of a haiku gives the reader attention to a single, insightful moment. Due to the apparent ‘enlightenment’ a haiku can give to the reader the form is highly associated with Buddhism.

An example of a haiku:

Autumn moonlight—
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.

This form will be a challenge and will require a lot of patience before mastered but is well worth the wait! Enjoy!
A write-up on the haiku with much thanks to ~corruptedangel
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:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2005   Writer
:bulletgreen: This seems deceptively simple, but the haiku form can take years to master.

why? you give no indication of why it should take any longer than two shakes of a lamb's tail to learn how to write a haiku, by your standards.
you have emphasised the syllable scheme without explaining why it is important. in fact, why do you think it's important? why should a specific number of syllables in a line have anything to do with the quality of a haiku? it is far more likely to be detrimental: when a writer pays heed to fitting and forcing his words into a clumsy frame, he limits himself immensely and is in danger of crippling what he is writing by making an inane stipulation its ultimate guide.
I refer you to the current Haiku&Eastern category description, which was written by me (if anybody is around to read this).
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:iconlilymaid7:
lilymaid7 Featured By Owner Feb 12, 2006   Writer
Maybe you should take it up with the young lady who did the write up. :)

I think having a set form can concentrate a piece, if that makes any sense. The frame's not clumsy, but how you use it may be.

I see forms more as a guide than anything else, though, and I definitely don't think they should be followed if it harms a poem. However, a good many wonderful and beautiful things have been written in rather rigid forms. It all depends on the grace with which you handle them.
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:iconriverrune:
RiverRune Featured By Owner Oct 13, 2004  Professional Traditional Artist
This may be a stupid question, but how should I title my haiku? Should I just number it?
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:iconpsychodrive:
psychodrive Featured By Owner Nov 30, 2003
One of the most interesting aspects of haiku in my mind is that the 17 syllables are traditionally written on a single line, in Japanese of course. Thus, the translation from Japanese for an english reader becomes a task. If there is any reason I wish I had been born in Japan, it's so I could read Japanese haiku more fluently. As well as write it.
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:iconpoetic-forms:
poetic-forms Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2003   Writer
lol .. someday .. i'm sure you'd be able to .. it takes time to be real fluent in a certain language ..
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:iconrebeccaa:
RebeccaA Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2003
A very concise and well written piece corruptedangel. A very good effort and most enlightening. Thanks.
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:iconcorruptedangel:
corruptedangel Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2003
Just had a thought! Does anybody know what a renga is? ok, if not a renga is the original form of haiku developed in Japan in the 15th century. It involves many different writers each adding a verse ( a haiku ) until ultimately there are 100 verses... this is a renga. I propose that we start a renga in the poetic forms community. If there are any suggestions on how we could do this i would highly appreciate them!
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:iconezo:
ezo Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2003  Hobbyist Artisan Crafter
Hey, that's a great idea! It'd really bring the community together.
Maybe we could have everyone message a master account who wants to sign up, and then the master account would send out a note to the first person on the list. They would write a verse, and send it back to the master account, and the master account would send it to the next person, and so on and so fourth.
It'd be hard getting 100 verses, but we could try.
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:iconpoetic-forms:
poetic-forms Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2003   Writer
Check out the journal to find out more about this idea!
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:iconcorruptedangel:
corruptedangel Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2003
Great idea, i will work on setting this up! thanks.
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:icondarkcrescendo:
darkcrescendo Featured By Owner Aug 21, 2003  Hobbyist Writer
I personally fail to see the point of a haiku written in anything but the 5/7/5 format. Perhaps I am too much a traditionalist at heart, but the syllable per line format is one of the main defining features of a haiku, apart from the themes which are portrayed in haiku.

My personal thoughts on this are, if you are going to write 6/8/6, or anything apart from 5/7/5, it shouldn't really be called a Haiku per se.

If the poet finds difficulty writing within the limitations of a haiku, then they should perhaps try a Tanka, which is slightly more forgiving theme-wise, and the 5/7/5/7/7 format lends a greater ease in portraying the concept abot which the poet is writing.

Just my thoughts. It may sound unforgiving, but I don't consider non 5/7/5 versions as Haiku per se, just really short poems.

Benedictions.
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:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2005   Writer
do you still hold this view?
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:icondarkcrescendo:
darkcrescendo Featured By Owner Dec 15, 2005  Hobbyist Writer
The heart of my argument comes down to this: The haiku is a poem based on a certain cultural context and usage of language and writing. The very way we write and formulate our sentences in english makes writing a 'true haiku' very difficult (Much in the same way as writing a 'true tanka').

My opinions are, admittedly, based largely on bias and regretably dogmatic tendencies towards fixed structures. :devilish:

(By the way - I'm still waiting upon the results of your research into haiku :) Have you finished it in my absence?)

How have you been of late?

Benedictions!
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:iconinziladun:
inziladun Featured By Owner Dec 16, 2005   Writer
:bulletgreen: The haiku is a poem based on a certain cultural context and usage of language and writing. The very way we write and formulate our sentences in english makes writing a 'true haiku' very difficult

it doesn't have to depend on how we formulate sentences in english, it should be about how we fomulate scenes and images. 5-7-5 lengthens haiku and wraps them with a confining, run-on rhythm, more often than not; always, if the scheme is used as a default without thought to anything else. english as a language is far shorter than japanese; you can say in three or four syllables something that would take something like eight in japanese. thus though it may appear that japanese haiku are lengthy, it's just a misguided impression arising from lack of understanding in the language itself. maybe a japanese person would consider a phrase like "oh old pond" terribly short, in comparison.
the essay is finished yes, first-draft-wise; it needs to undergo editing and revising before being unveiled.
I've been ok, doing very little and enjoying the peace and quiet. :) been working lately though, couple times a week; a terrible factory-esque place, but it's good mulah. haha, mulah. but it is. for someone with practically no expenses.
welcome back. :>
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:iconcorruptedangel:
corruptedangel Featured By Owner Aug 22, 2003
Very true, they aren't haiku's once that form is adapted... they are free-form-haiku's. I suppose you iwlll have to think of this as two different forms.
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