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Japanese haiku (a form of poetry) may look simple, but it is actually very structured, with rules for choosing a subject and the way you write about it.  The classical form, which goes back to the 15th century, consists of as many as 100 verses in one poem, with each verse having a set number of syllables.   Often these poems were written by more than one poet working together. 

Modern haiku (since the 1890s), is a short verse complete in itself, using 17 characters.  In the Japanese Haiku form, there must be a seasonal word, or , to make it true kigoHaiku.  This word is supposed to remind readers of one of the four seasons, without being too obvious (like using the word crisp instead of fallautumn nights).

In English, Haiku consists of 17 syllables, which are arranged in three lines:

Example:  Spring goes, summer comes   with the warm heat from the sun   swimming, picnics fun!   —A Haiku by Megan, age 12

line 1:   5 syllables line 2:   7 syllables line 3:   5 syllables

A good Haiku selects a subject that is something simple (like a coin in your pocket, a sunset you see out your window, or a daily event) and makes you think about it in a different way.

Ballads are narrative [tells a story] poetry that are set to music.  

Couplets consist of a pair of lines of poetry that are usually rhymed.  Epitaphs are a good example of couplets.

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