[Haiku by Bashô]
te wo uteba
kodama ni akuru
natsu no tsuki
as I clap my hands
with the echoes, it begins to dawn —
the summer moon
Robert Oxnam :: Bashô was
a master of the haiku form, which not only retains its popularity in today's
Japan, but has also been introduced into American schools at all levels.
Haiku evolved from the haikai, linked verse, that was written in the Tokugawa
period. Every haikai begins with an opening verse of seventeen syllables.
This opening verse was called a hokku. It was written in three lines of 5, then
7, then 5 syllables to make the total of 17 syllables. Bashô took this opening
verse, the hokku, and refined it to become what is now known as the haiku.