Before there was Twitter, there was haiku.
Haiku is the Japanese poetic form that consists roughly of three lines of five, seven, and five syllables respectively. The verse is usually of an image focusing on nature and most often ends with an insightful leap.
This is what I enjoy about haiku - its brevity and its brain flip at the end.
I picked up a slim book of haiku poetry, On Love and Barley, by Matsuo Basho (1644-1694) at Hattie's Books in Brunswick, Georgia. It contains 253 poems and some lovely Japanese illustrations from an album of paintings by Ike no Taiga. It took me about 20 minutes to read these intriguing verses.
(If you would like to give writing haiku a try, here is a link to a website that might help get you started - Haiku.)
In his introduction to this volume published in 1985, the translator Lucien Stryk, writes:
Throughout his life as a wanderer Basho sought to celebrate: whether his eyes turned to mountain or gorge, whether his ears heard thunder or birdsong, whether his foot brushed flower or mud, he was intensely alive to the preciousness of all that shared the world with him.
Here is a sampling:
Yellow rose petals
to autumn wind -
From the heart
of the sweet peony,
a drunken bee.
Skylark sings all
day, and day
not long enough.
Autumn - even
birds and clouds