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The Japanese were the creators of probably the shortest form of poetry, Haiku. A Haiku poem has five syllables in the first line, seven in the second line, and usually five syllables in the third line. Some think the third line should only have a similar but not necessarily identical number of syllables to the first line (so four or six would be OK). Haiku poems do not rhyme. The topics presented in Haiku poems often describe a scene in nature or someone’s feelings or emotions, but in a subtle manner. Here is a famous Haiku poem by Ryunosuke Akutagawa:

Green frog,

Is your body also

freshly painted?

Note that when a Haiku is translated from Japanese to English, the translator has to choose between achieving the 5-7-5 syllable pattern and representing the essence of the original poem. This is why many translated Haiku, such as the one just shown, don’t appear to follow the 5-7-5 syllable pattern.