Japanese haiku have been traditionally composed in 5-7-5 syllables. When poets started writing English haiku in the 1950's, they adopted this 5-7-5 form, thinking it created a similar condition for English-language haiku. This style is what is generally considered "traditional" English haiku.
Over the years, however, most haiku poets in North America have become aware that 17 English syllables convey a great deal more information than 17 Japanese syllables, and have come to write haiku in fewer syllables, most often in three segments that follow a short-long-short pattern without a rigid structure. This style is called by some "free-form" haiku.
This site has gone through a few iterations. Archived posts from March 2002 - Aug. 22, 2008 may be found at two URLs on the the Internet Archive Wayback Machine, 2002 and 2003-2008.
This site became active in October 2007 and most of the 2008 posts at the link above are duplicated here. We sometimes transfer earlier posts from the previous sites to this one, but we do not revalidate the links therein. Posts on this site dated before October 2007 are transferred posts.