The reason why I enjoy so much writing haiku lies in how concentrated they are. With just seventeen syllables at the disposal of the writer, only what is necessary will remain. At the same time translating them is a real challenge: their form may remain the same, but the differences between languages sometimes make it impossible to transfer both meaning and style into the target language. How can I transfer the alliteration of the letter “s” to Greek, when a five-word English phrase consists of seven syllables, the same amount of syllables needed for only two Greek words?
A short form of Japanese poetry, haiku traditionally consist of 17 syllables, divided into three phrases (5-7-5). Whilst they used to take nature as their subject, this has changed over time.