(poems in 31 syllables)
Tanka poems are short, lyrical poetry structured in 31 syllables arranged in groups of 5, 7, 5, 7 and 7, syllables, in a two-part form with the first part in 5, 7, 5, and the second part in 7 and 7. Even in the "Man'yoshu,"(the Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves) which is the Japan's oldest anthology of poetry, compiled in the eighth century, many of the poems were already composed in this form.
It is written in the preface of "Kokinwakashu,"(the Collection of Japanese Poems from Ancient and Modern Times) that "the Japanese poetry grows out of people's feelings to become leaves of words for everything in the world." Its main feature is that, in expressing the gamut of feelings in a simple form, it must contain--and this is an indispensable feature--a suggestiveness felt beyond the words.
Perhaps a requirement for an outstanding tanka poems is that it causes associations with a suggestiveness not expressed in words and a deep elegance. Today there are many lovers of this art form, tanka poetry.


Haiku  is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 moras (or on), in three phrases of 5, 7, and 5 moras respectively.Although haiku are often stated to have 17 syllables, this is inaccurate as syllables and moras are not the same. Haiku typically contain a kigo (seasonal reference), and a kireji (cutting word). In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line and tend to take aspects of the natural world as their subject matter, while haiku in English often appear in three lines to parallel the three phrases of Japanese haiku and may deal with any subject matter. Previously called hokku, haiku was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.