The Japanese haiku,
one of the oldest forms of poetic expression,
teaches us much about the art and craft of poem-making.
The entire poem consists of only three short lines,
yet the haiku contains all the basic elements of poetry.
The haiku is understated and concise.
It is lyrical and dramatic, poignant and precise,
personal and universal. Sometimes it is witty.
But always it is ethereal and timeless,
as meaningful today as it was hundreds of years ago
when Basho, Buson and Issa first began
exploring its potential as an art form.
Here is a brief description of the haiku
written in the form of a haiku
along with four examples.
* * *
Haiku is a poem
of seventeen syllables
with only three lines.
The first line has five.
The second line has seven.
The third line has five.
Each haiku describes
a fleeting moment in Time,
a glimpse of Nature.
* * *
perch on black branches,
the dogwood blossoms.
The cricket calls to
the meadow, each evening he
hears his echo sing.
Shadows bow to the
setting sun, pray to the sky
for blessings of light.
Artist Autumn comes,
paints her blush across each tree,
drops palette, and leaves.
From Haiku: The Travelers of Eternity © Charles Ghigna