haiku (n.)

1902, from Japanese haiku, telescoped (supposedly in the late nineteenth century, by the poet Shiki) from haikai no ku "comic verse(s)," originally the name of the opening lines of a type of improvised, witty linked verse. The form developed mid-16c. "Traditionally, there is mention of a season of the year somewhere in a haiku, as a means of establishing the poem's tone, though this may be only the slightest suggestion." [Miller Williams, "Patterns of Poetry," Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University, 1986].