Haiku is a Japanese form of poetry with origins dating back four centuries. In English, the short poem is arranged in three lines. The first with five syllables, the second line with seven syllables, and the third line with five syllables. Haiku are traditionally written about nature, but commonly include a “cutting word” or idea.
Basho Matsuo (1644 – 1694),is one of the great masters of the haiku form. Here are two examples of his haiku. They were of course, written in Japanese, so the translations do not always work out with the same syllabic cadence in English…but the feeling and sentiment remain intact.
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
a worm digs silently
into the chestnut.
I have been intrigued with the haiku since childhood. So it was only a matter of time before the poetic form influenced my design work. I think of the traditional Japanese design aesthetic as the first modernism. The natural motifs are often rendered in balanced, geometric perfection. These elements of nature and modern geometric forms can be found in the Haiku Collection and again in American Metaphor Collection.
We wrote this Haiku for the launch of the Haiku Collection and have enjoyed writing more since!
Words of poetry
spring to life in gold and light
gems wrapped in haiku
I hope you will enjoy the haiku found through out the site.