April 17 is Haiku Poetry Day. The unofficial holiday honors the short poetry form that originated in Japan.
Haiku is a type of short poetry that is usually three sentences long. First popularized in Japan in the 17th century, Haiku as a poetry genre has been adopted by many languages around the world. In English, the genre first became mainstream in the early 20th century.
In its Japanese avatar, haikus traditionally have three lines with 17 syllables. The first and last sentences have 5 syllables and the second line has 7 syllables. The syllable rule, however, is not always set in stone. Compared to Japanese, many English words have longer syllables. Because of this, English haikus can often have anywhere from 10 to 14 syllables. Unlike a lot of other forms of poetry, words in a haiku poem do not need to rhyme.
Haikus tend to give an interesting insight about something trivial, usually some aspect of nature or the seasons.
Haiku Poetry Day is also sometimes known as National Haiku Poetry Day and International Haiku Poetry Day.
How to Celebrate?
Learn how to write your own haikus.
Pick up an anthology of haiku poetry and spend some time reading haikus.
Learn more about the history of haiku.
Did You Know…
…that a monoku is an even shorter version of the haiku? Instead of the traditional 3 sentences, a monoku only has one line.