Most of us learned all we know about haiku in an English class as children. What endeared it to many of us was that there was less work involved in writing a haiku than even a limerick, let alone a page of iambic pentameter. All we had to do was come up with 17 syllables about nature in a 5-7-5 pattern. Then it was on to fish sticks and cole slaw at lunch.
How little we understood haiku. And lunch.
Eight years ago, the Japanese haiku community asked the rest of the world to give up on the 17-syllable rule.