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A 17-syllable verse form consisting of three metrical units of 5, 7, and 5 syllables, respectively. One of the most important forms of traditional Japanese poetry, haiku remains popular in modern Japan, and in recent years its popularity has spread to other countries. One of the most famous haiku is that by Matsuo Bashō (here presented in the original Japanese, followed by two English translations): Furu ike ya / kawazu tobikomu / mizu no oto. The ancient pond / A frog leaps in / The sound of the water. Trans. Donald Keene. The old pond / A frog jumps in / Plop! Translated by Alan Watts. (from Robert Aitken A Zen Wave: Bashō’s Haiku and Zen. Shoemaker & Hoard, 2003.

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