I first learned of haiku in early elementary school when our teacher presented a lesson plan on the form and assigned us to write our own. Since then, I've been enthralled with these poems, which require the poet to say so much using so few words. The extra challenge of using the correct number of syllables in each of the poem's three lines (usually 5, 7, 5) is what intrigues me most, I think. As anyone who's written haiku knows, the concept is more difficult than it appears.
Some poets, particularly in North America, write single-line haiku containing much fewer than seventeen syllables; others write haiku of four or more very short lines, which is known as vertical haiku. Circular haiku, in which the poem doesn't have a fixed beginning or ending, is also popular. Others adopt their own forms, some counting words rather than syllables.
I enjoy writing haiku. As poet Santoka Taneda once wrote, "Haiku is not a shriek, a howl, a sigh, or a yawn; rather, it is the deep breath of life"--and I think that's beautiful.
Do you read or write haiku?