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Does a haiku poem have to rhyme?


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December 13, 2009 9:24PM

No. They don't have to rhyme. In fact, original Japanese Haiku poems do not rhyme! Most hiaku have only seventeen symbols, generally arranged in three lines of five, seven and five symbols.

Hiakui is a form of non-rhyming poetry that 'captures the moment' in a few words.

One of the greatest exponents of haiku was Basho, (1644-94) and it seems that it was Basho's writings and poetry that led to the creation of the standard haiku poetic form we know today.

It is possible to write 'haiko style' poems in any language.
An old pond!
A frog jumps in-
The sound of water.

In English a rhyming haiku may sound jingly. But in some other languages where rhyme is deeply entrenched (Urdu, Sindhi, Balochi) the first and third lines of a haiku usually do rhyme.

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