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I was once told that haiku should be "padded" so that instead of 5/7/5, they fit an 8/8/8 meter:

■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line
■■■■■■■□ ← wait for 1 beat after this line
■■■■■□□□ ← wait for 3 beats after this line

If I recall correctly, the explanation was that Japanese favors rhythms in groups of 4 or 8 beats (morae). I don't actually know if haiku are read this way, though--it's just something I was told once.

Are haiku actually read aloud with these pauses? Or is this something my friend made up?

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Holy crap, I do this automatically and I never noticed it. –  Sjiveru Dec 22 '13 at 1:21
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1 Answer

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, I think it's read as


for 5/7/5 like かたつむり・・・ where the middle line can be split into 4+3(トウキョウ・ナゴヤ). It'd be


for 5/7/5 like 静かさや・・・ where the middle line sounds better when split into 3+4(カワズ・トビコム).

and maybe


for 5/8/5, like 8/5/8/5/8/5... :D(唱歌・カタツムリ童謡・鳩より)

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wwwwちょこれーと東京名古屋かたつむり。最高のアンサーだわ、これw –  Darius Jahandarie Dec 22 '13 at 3:09
いい俳句が思いつかなかったんで・・・^^; –  Chocolate Dec 22 '13 at 4:19
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