A haiku is a Japanese form of poetry. In it’s traditional form a haiku is a three line poem consisting of seventeen syllables, written in a 5/7/5 syllable count. Often inspired by nature, a haiku emphasizes both simplicity and intensity.
Example of a traditional haiku poem
“The old pond by Matsuo Basho”
An old silent pond…
A frog jumps into the pond,
splash! Silence again.
Notice the first line is 5 syllables, the second 7, and the third 5. Overtime the form of haiku poetry has evolved and the 5/7/5 practice has been routinely broken. If the syllable count is not traditional the philosophy of haiku can be preserved by focusing on a brief moment in time, and creating enlightenment through the use of provocative words.
Next time you go to write a short poem, try writing it as haiku. It will be an adventure and a fun learning experience. If you run into words that make counting the syllables tough there are many syllable counters online to help such as http://www.haikuwithteeth.com/index.php