According to the textbook (An Introduction to Poetry, Kennedy), the word haiku translates to “beginning-verse”. Kennedy states that scholars believe the word haiku may have originated in a poetry creation game where the players were given the first three lines of a poem and asked to extend them.
But these lovely, little, three lines are beautiful enough on their own. They seem to contain an entire universe in their small, grain of sand forms. They’re pleasant because you can get as much or as little as you want from them, just as you can stare at a Jackson Pollock painting and say, “boy what a big mess” or take an hour and notice that it’s really a car crash at a circus museum where the balloons have started attacking (or whatever it is you see). Either way.
On the one-ton temple bell
a moonmoth, folded into sleep,
– Taniguchi Buson