Japanese poetry has been a major influence on modern history. Japanese poets first encountered Chinese poetry when it was at its peak in the Tang dynasty. In the middle of the 19 century, the major forms of poetry were Tanka, Haiku, and Shi.

Haiku is the most famous form poetry in the Japanese culture. Haiku combines form, content, and language in a meaningful, yet compact form. Haiku poets, write about everyday things. Many themes include nature, feelings, or experiences. Usually they use simple words and grammar. The most common form for haiku is three short lines. The first line usually contains five (5) syllables, the second line seven (7) syllables, and the third line contains five (5) syllables. Haiku doesn't rhyme. The purpose of a haiku, is to "paint" a mental image in the readers mind. This is the challenge of the haiku- to put the poem's meaning and imagery in the reader's mind, only 17 syllables over just three lines of poetry.

* Haiku- A Japanese poem of seventeen syllables, in three lines of five, seven, and five.

* Imagery- Visually descriptive or figurative language.

Citations: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/haiku, http://volweb.utk.edu/school/bedford/harrisms/haiku.htm

Teresina Weaver