National Poetry Month Haiku

The background is Japan’s flag. On the left side is the kanji for tanka, on the right side is the kanji for haiku. In the middle the text says, “haiku & tanka”


A very short poem in Japanese literature. In Japan, a person who writes haiku is called haijin. Originally called hokku, the haiku, like the tanka, received its modern name from Masaoka Shiki, who promoted a theme of describing observations of nature. The first haiku published in English was by Ezra Pound in 1913.


  • May only contain seventeen syllables in a 5-7-5 format.
  • Usually used as a sharp contrast of two objects, occurrences, or ideas.
  • When the kireji (cutting word) is used in the middle verse it changes the thought and, making the first and second thought half independent of each other. When used at the end, it signals a final resolution of the two thoughts

A good example - Cricket Never Does: A Collection of Haiku and Tanka DB046169

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Monday, April 10, 2017 - 2:30 p.m.