A traditional migrated Japanese haiku is an observation poem that is rooted deeply in the ebb and flow of nature and its seasons, festivals and traditions. It is an image recorded in words instead of in a photograph but bearing the same faithfulness to the observed.
Its structure is as follows:
- three lines - 5/7/5 syllable count
- cut-marker (kireji)
- season/festival/celebration reference (kigo)
- phrase and fragment (comparison)
tell me all, O elm!
tell me tales of leaf and stem
and of metal streams