I was introduced to Haiku during a presentation by William Ayot (who uses poetry and metaphor to work with changes in organisations) at the Clean Change Conference this year.
Haiku are short poems that use sensory language to capture a feeling or image. They are often inspired by an element of nature, a moment of beauty or a poignant experience. Haiku poetry was originally developed by Japanese poets, and was eventually adapted to English and other languages by poets in other countries.
Japanese Haiku traditionally consist of 17 on, or sounds, divided into three phrases: 5 sounds, 7 sounds, and 5 sounds. Can you make a poem using that combination? It can be beautiful, convey an emotion or a moment in time, or be plain funny. In America, you can get coaching through Haiku.
English poets interpreted on as syllables. Haiku poetry has developed over time, and most poets no longer stick to the original structure, in either Japanese or English; modern Haiku may have more than 17 sounds or as few as one.
The funniest Haiku that I have heard is by John Cooper Clark:
To-con-vey one’s mood. In sev-en-teen syll-able-s. Is ve-ry dif-fic