Haiku

Haiku is a Japanese form of minimalist poetry closely associated with Zen.

Haiku developed from renku. A poet wrote a line of seventeen syllables. A line of fourteen syllables was added by a second poet, followed by a line of seventeen syllables that would be linked to the first two lines. A fourth poet would add a fourth line, and so on.

Hokku consisted of the opening line. From Hokku developed haiku, a minimalist form of poetry broken down into three blocks of seven, five and seven syllables.

In the west haiku is written as three lines, but in Japan it is one line.

Haiku is used in Zen as a meditation technique.

An excellent example of modern haiku is the beautiful The marriage bed by Sian Peters.

Also see

The Old Pond

Dreams

Four haiku by Basho

Leaves falling

A Zen Wave

Zen

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