A Japanese verse-form dating from the sixteenth century which traditionally comprises lines of five, seven and five syllables. The name comes from two Japanese words meaning “sportive” or “pleasantry”, and the form evolved from the hokku which stood at the beginning of longer poems and set their tone, eventually becoming an independent form in its own right. Its early masters were Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), whose work is often found in English translations, Yosa Buson (1716-84) and Issa Kobayashi (1762-1826).
Here a famous example by Basho:
No one travels
Along this road but I
This autumn evening.
Haiku use extreme economy to convey emotions such as longing …
We have have no profile for this entry. If you are a qualified scholar and you wish to write for The Literary Encyclopedia, please click here to contact us.
Editors. "Haiku". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 01 November 2001; last revised 30 August 2005.
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=494, accessed 23 August 2017.]