haiku


haiku

Unrhymed Japanese poetic form. It consists of 17 syllables arranged in three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, respectively. The form expresses much and suggests more in the fewest possible words. It gained distinction in the 17th century, when Basho elevated it to a highly refined art. Haiku remains Japan's most popular poetic form and is widely imitated in English and other languages.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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