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Haiku Syllable Distribution

1/1/21

Of the poems that I've written (which can be found here), of them are haiku. At the time of writing this article, I've written 434 of them. In this article, I will show some bar charts of the frequencies of each syllable pattern I've used in these 434 haiku.

In Mathematics of Haiku, I list all possible ways to create 5 and 7 syllable lines in a haiku. The bar charts below arise from going through each of the lines in my haiku and categorizing each 5 or 7 line by the type of syllable pattern used.

There are a few things we can learn from creating these frequency charts. First, all possible 5 and 7 syllable patterns have been used (which surprised me). Second, we can see that some patterns are definitely more frequent that others. For example, the 5 syllable pattern of a single 5 syllable word is very infrequent (it happens only 18 times). It seems that patterns with small syllables (1s, 2s, and 3s) are more frequent than larger syllable words (4s, 5s, 6s, and 7s), although there are a few exceptions. This is probably due to the ease of use or a more natural sounding language for the words that have few syllables.

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