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Haiku Poetry Examples - Its Form, Nature and Evolution

by Rakesh Ramubhai Patel

Poetic expressions are encapsulated in several forms and therefore you see the different types of poetry and haiku is such fine example of verse. In this article, you will learn about the nature, form and examples of haiku poems.

The Form of Haiku Poetry:

Haiku is a Japanese verse form composed for brevity. This poetic form is made of three lines with seventeen syllables: five, seven and five syllables. It is the unstressed syllabic form of the Japanese language known for its compactness, brevity, and suggestiveness.

What Does this Poetry Suggest and Convey?

If you closely study the examples of haiku poems, you will notice that the poets represent their emotional response to the object they are talking about.

This poetic verse presents two contrasting images; one is evocative of time and place whereas the other offers fleeting and brief observation. Both images give the way to the evocation of mood and emotions. The poet does not comment on the fusion and connection of these two contrasting images, rather leaves on the readers to perceive it.

A poet called Basho has dealt with this poetic form wonderfully and threw the light on this duality of contrasting images:

"Now the swinging bridge
Is quieted with creepers ...
Like our tendrilled life."

How Did the Form of Haiku Evolve?

This form developed from the earlier verse-form known as "the renga" which was used widely by Zen Buddhist monks during the 15th to 16th centuries. From that point of time, this form of poetry gained popularity.

The brief and concise nature of haiku form influenced many. The important poets, besides Basho, who work in this form, are Masuoka Shiki, and Yosa Buson. Ezra Pound and other Imagists were very much influenced by it. "In a Station of the Metro" by Ezra Pound is a fine example of haiku poetry composed in the loosened English form.

The practice of writing poetry in this form is still in vogue and many Japanese are in habit of writing and publishing poetry in magazines.

Rakesh Patel has taught English literature for five years and now writes about education and literature. To learn more about the types of poetry examples and sonnet examples, visit

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