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The same philosophy can be found in Haiku, the world’s shortest form of poem.  Haiku use only 17 syllables, which consists of 5-7-5.


The ancient pond

A frog leaps in

The sound of the water.

(Translation:  Donald Keene)

This is one of the most famous Haikus by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694).

The first line (5 syllables) is “cut” by verbal punctuation which connects it with the second line (7 syllables). The second line has the seasonal word and the main character (believe it or not, it’s “frog”).  The third line (5 syllables) tells us that the frog made the sound when it jumped in the water, but it gives no further description. It leaves abundant room for the readers to picture the scene relying only on their own imagination.  Although it talks about the sound, probably what you picture is a profound tranquility.  The soundless-ness is emphasized by the absence of the explanation and by the smallness of the frog (and the sound it makes).

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