posted on Dec, 18 2011 @ 11:07 PM
The Japanese haiku and the English language haiku have several critical differences. In Japanese the haiku is composed of 17 sound units divided into
three parts - one with 5 units, one with 7 units and another with 5 units . Since sound units are much shorter than English syllables, it has been
found that following the Japanese example results in a much longer poem. The Japanese write their haiku in one line, in order see to clearly the parts
of the haiku. In English each part is given a line. This allows the reader time to form an image in the mind before the eyes go back to the left
margin for more words. The line breaks also act as a type of punctuation.
The kigo, or season word, is a vital part of the Japanese haiku, but in English it is often ignored and not well understood. Therefore, a great number
of English haiku do not have a season word and yet are considered to be haiku. The Japanese, because of their longer history of reading haiku,
understand that there are two parts to the poem. In English these are called the phrase and fragment. One line is the fragment and the other two lines
combine grammatically to become the phrase. Without this combining the two lines together the haiku will sound ‘choppy’ as the voice drops at the
end of each line.