haiku hī´ko͞o [key], an unrhymed Japanese poem recording the essence of a moment keenly perceived, in which nature is linked to human nature. It usually consists of 17 jion (Japanese symbol-sounds). The term is also used for foreign adaptations of the haiku, notably the poems of the imagists . These poems are usually written in three lines of five, seven, and five syllables. See senryu .

See the anthology ed. by H. G. Henderson, Introduction to Haiku (1958).

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