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Explanation of Japanese Haiku and Tanka poems

Haiku is a three-line Japanese form usually consisting in English of five syllables, then seven, then five. These bite-sized poems deliver maximum effect with minimum description, or they can continue, telling their own story.

Tanka also originated in Japan. It begins as a haiku, adding two more lines of seven syllables each.

Both can suggest feelings by natural images, and can be a way to pray, to see the world around us. Both can be a joy to read and to write. However, both can also become a bit addictive—but delightfully so!