Haikus are a form of Japanese poetry. A haiku is three lines; five syllables in the first, seven in the second, and five in the last. Most haikus reference nature or one of the four seasons in the year. Haikus were originally written as a form of amusement verse. It was accepted as a legitimate poetry form in the sixteenth century. Because of Matsuo Basho, it assumed religious dimensions.

Basho's Death Poem

Sick on my journey,
only my dreams will wander
these desolate moors

~Matsuo Basho