Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Abby. Abby Wonders, “What is a haiku?” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Abby!
Nice to see you friend.
Are you ready to WONDER?
It's time for haiku.
Did you like our poem? Since it doesn't rhyme, it probably doesn't sound like most of the poems you may have heard. It's a special kind of poem called a haiku.
Haiku is an ancient form of poetry that originated in Japan. In Japan, these poems are sometimes known as hokku. Haiku remains a popular form of poetry today.
Much like a snapshot, a haiku poem captures a moment in time. The main focus is usually a feeling or description. Traditional Japanese haiku typically describe nature, while English haiku include many different subjects.
A haiku contains 17 syllables in three lines of poetry. A syllable is a unit of language that consists of an unbroken sound used to make up words. For example, the word "cat" contains one syllable, "poem" contains two syllables, and "beautiful" contains three syllables.
The 17 syllables in a haiku are divided up in a particular way. The first line of a haiku contains five syllables. The second line features seven syllables. The last line returns to five syllables.
Unlike many other forms of poetry, haiku poems do not need to rhyme. For a challenge, though, some haiku poets will try to rhyme the first and third lines.
Exploring the unique form of haiku can be a great way to introduce budding writers to the world of poetry. The poems are short and simple, and they focus on one idea, item, or moment in time.
Here are a couple of examples of haiku by Matsuo Bashō, a famous Japanese haiku poet from the 17th century:
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
Autumn moonlight —
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.