Wikipedia 10K Redux by Reagle from Starling archive. Bugs abound!!!

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Haiku is one of the most important form of traditional Japanese poetry. Haiku is a very short poetic form, consisting of three lines of 5, 7, and 5 syllables each, and must have a special word - the kigo - that indicates in which season the haiku is set. 

The poet must be concise because of the brevity, while concentrating deep spiritual understanding into the poem. The haiku poet usually takes up the changes of nature which have impressed him in order to express the intangible world of the spirit. 

Haiku is not written only by professionals. Anyone can easily learn to use the form.