The Haiku

The month of May in the U.S. celebrates the heritage of Asian-Pacific Americans.  It made me think of the haiku, the poetic form believed to be from Japan.  This poem is usually divided into three groups/lines of syllables, the first and last with five syllables, the second with seven.  Its brevity and unique structure make it, to some extent, a beloved poetic form.

Historically there are only about four Japanese poets who are credited with writing the haiku.  In particular among these four poets is Matsuo Basho (1644-1694), who is credited with raising the stature of the haiku with the simplicity and depth of meaning he brought to this form.

From Basho:  Three Haiku


Ancient silent pond

Then a frog jumped right in!

Watersound: kerplunk

(translation: John S. Major)


The temple bell stops—

but the sound keeps coming

out of the flowers.

(translation: Robert Bly)



sings all day,

and day not long enough.

(translation: Lucien Stryk and Takashi Ikemoto)


Years back a classmate friend in high school composed this haiku for an event. I kept a copy of it.


Love, here calm gardens

Silver streams and crystal rain

Waken to our dream.

            by Kathy Maltese


To read more haiku, see this wordpress blogger:



2 thoughts on “The Haiku

  1. kvennarad says:

    If you enjoy haiku please visit ‘the zen space’

    Marie Marshall

    • Thanks for your tip — I just visited & read the Spring 2012 & the Autumn 2011 showcases/editions there. In some instances very cool interplay btw the visual pieces and the haiku (& just inspiring haiku…)

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