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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