Are there any popular melody or tune to sing a haiku poem?

  • Sorry, I am not sure whether this question fits this site. Apr 6, 2014 at 15:55
  • 4
    I think it does. I believe there are certain poetic forms which are mapped to music in a traditional way, so it's a fair quetsion. Whether anyone is an expert in Traditional Japanese song forms on the site is a different matter! Apr 6, 2014 at 18:27
  • 2
    Agreed; this applies to an entire class of musical text-setting, so I don't believe the "song identification" off-topic criteria applies.
    – NReilingh
    Apr 6, 2014 at 19:57

2 Answers 2


No single melody can properly fit all English haiku, because each poem stresses different syllables. This may also be true for 5-7-5 haiku in other Western languages. Furthermore, some scholars argue that 5-7-5 poorly translates the Japanese concept, and that other syllable counts are justifiable. In that case, even the number of syllables is not known. The only possible melody would be something like a Psalm tone.

Similarly, in Japanese poems, the lengths of mora may differ. The quality of word underlay in Japanese surely depends as much on mora lengths as it does in English on scansion.


Perhaps each haiku may need a slightly different melody. For a non-serious haiku, try a 12-bar blues. Or maybe a Folia (using the 9-bar version).

None of these short poetic forms seems too easy to set. Omar Khayyam's stuff isn't easy either.

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