Haiku By Veenstra, Michelle
A brief form of poetry originally developed in Japan around the thirteenth century, haiku are typically composed of three lines with a total of seventeen onji, or syllable-like units. Traditional haiku depicts the natural world, is written in the present tense, and includes minimal subjective commentary from the poet, often reflecting Buddhist principles of interrelatedness and egolessness. Much like other forms of Asian culture, haiku played a significant role in the development of early modernism, notably the poetic movement Imagism developed primarily by Ezra Pound, H.D., and Amy Lowell. Haiku has maintained a strong presence globally and in Western literature throughout the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, seeing a particularly strong resurgence in the 1950s and 1960s, when the poetic form and the related ideas of Zen Buddhism were embraced and disseminated by the Beat poets.