- "Haiku grew from an early writing game in which the first three lines of a poem were written by one person. A second person wrote the closing two lines. The great Japanese writer, Basho (1644-94) grew tired of this game. He felt that the first three lines could stand alone. In that way, haiku was born.
There are no rhyming words in haiku, and each 3-line verse has only 17 syllables or less! The three lines are often arranged so that the first line has five (5) syllables, the second line has seven (7) syllables, and the third line has five (5) syllables. This is called the 5-7-5 rule. Haiku does not always follow the 5-7-5 rule. But to be haiku, the verse must express a thought, feeling or mood. The verse cannot be composed of more than 17 syllables; it cannot have more than 3 lines; and it cannot rhyme.
As you read each verse below, put yourself in the poet's place - try to share what he or she is feeling. Then share the poem with someone else. You may find that others receive a different image or feel a different mood than you do, all while reading the same words. That is one reason a haiku verse is often accompanied by an illustration.
Here is an example of haiku written by the great Japanese writer Basho. Ask yourself, what season is it?
This snowy morning
That black crow I hate so much ....
But he's beautiful!
—Basho " -
Here's one of mine -
In winter hibernation:
Only the tags flowerlike.