An English HAIKU: some features

Source: Wikipedia

A haiku in English is a very short poem in the English language, following to a greater or lesser extent the form and style of the Japanese haiku. A typical haiku is a three-line quirky observation about a fleeting moment involving nature.

English haiku:

  • are three lines long
  • either are 17 syllables long, especially with lines of 5, 7 and 5 syllables (the traditional form);[1][a][2][3][4] or are about 10–14 syllables long,[5][6] with the second line usually the longest. Some poets want their haiku to be expressed in one breath[7][8][9]
  • are about, or mention, an aspect of nature[10][1]
  • make a quirky or surprising observation about some fleeting experience – usually an otherwise ordinary or trivial-seeming one. Often it expresses a sudden insight
  • often juxtapose two things – e.g. something large and something small, something natural and something man-made, or two unexpectedly similar things
  • are often divided into two sections, usually at the end of the first or second line, and indicated by a punctuation mark, broken layout (e.g. extra space between words or lines), grammatical break, or caesura (similar to the Japanese kire)[1][11]
  • are in the present tense
  • are impressionistic, leaving much to the imagination[12][13][14]
  • are contemplative or wistful
  • do not rhyme
  • use elliptical ‘telegram style‘ syntax, avoiding words such as ‘and’, ‘but’, ‘like’
  • use little or no punctuation, sometimes with unusual layout in place of punctuation (e.g. indented lines, extra space between words or lines)
  • do not start lines with capital letters
  • use adjectives sparingly
  • do not use abstract nouns
  • do not have a title.
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