The art of Haiku poetry
  homepage poetry the art of haiku
[versão em portugues]
"Old pond...
a frog leaps in
water's sound."
- Matsuo Basho. - (Tr. W. J. Higginson)

Haiku is a small poem with oriental metric that appeared in the XVI century and is very popular, mainly in Japan. It's been disseminated all around the world during this century. It has an old and long story that resembles the spiritualist philosophy and the Taoist symbolism of the oriental mystics and Zen-Buddhist masters who express much of their thoughts in form of myths, symbols, paradoxes and poetic images like the Haiku. It's done to transcend the limitation imposed by the usual language and the linear/scientific thinking that treat nature and the human being as a machine.

It's a contemplative poetry that valorizes nature, color, season, contrasts and surprises. Usually it has 3 lines and 17 syllables distributed in 5, 7 and 5. It must register or indicate a moment, sensation, impression or drama of a specific moment in nature. It's almost like a photo of some specific moment of nature.

More than inspiration, it needs meditation, effort and perception to compose a real Haiku.

Read the full article (in Portuguese): O Zen e a Arte do Haikai.

"The primary purpose of reading and writing haiku is sharing moments of our lives that have moved us, pieces of experience and perception that we offer or receive as gifts. At the deepest level, this is the one great purpose of all art, and especially of literature."
      (Bill Higginson)

"Old pond . . ." is translated by William J. Higginson, copyright 1985, and used by permission.

See also:

Rodrigo A. Siqueira