December 1, 2010

Word of the Day: Haiku

Haiku is a type of poetry that originates from Japan.

Traditionally the haiku was written in one long string, from top to bottom, using 17 onji (sound-symbols).  These onji are usually divided into 3 sections, the middle one being slightly longer than the others with a pause at the end of the first or second section.  This type of poetry attempts to convey a feeling or experience through the use of images drawn from nature.  Instead of stating a feeling it says "This is what I saw; perhaps it will rouse in you a feeling similar to mine when I experienced it."  Here's an example:

I pay the vendor
open the cage of birds,
they fly away in melody.


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