Unit 2 Poems课时跟踪练（一）Warming Up & Reading Pre reading Ⅰ.阅读理解
Have you ever listened to the sound of a raindrop? You might call the small sounds earth songs. Is it possible to catch earth songs, to put them into words?
Long ago, poets in Japan listened, watched, and did catch the beauty of the earth's songs. They did this with the tiniest poems in the world, called haiku. A haiku is a poem that is just three lines and seventeen syllables long. And the poets who wrote them watched and listened, not only with their eyes and ears, but also with their hearts!
In their haiku, the early Japanese poets caught the colors, sounds, and beauties of the seasons of the year. They sang of their islands' beauties. Their miniature poems were not meant to fully describe a scene or to explain it but rather were a flash impression.
The old poets are not the only writers of haiku. Today Japanese farmers, shopkeepers, grandparents, and students write it, and because of its strong appeal, haiku is written in many other countries throughout the world.
Interestingly enough, Japanese poetry has had a long and colorful history. In the prehaiku period in the early eighth century, Japanese poets wrote katauta, poems in a questionandanswer form, using two people. Each threeline verse (诗节) contained about seventeen syllables that could be delivered easily in one breath —just as one would naturally ask or answer a question. This has remained the basic pattern for traditional Japanese poetry throughout the centuries.
Another form that appeared was the tanka, which contained five lines and thirtyone syllables (57577), written by either one or two persons. From that evolved (发展) the renga, which contained more than one verse, or link. Written by three or more people, it could have as many as 100 links! The first verse of the renga introduced a subject. It had three lines and was called the hokku, or starting verse. Renga parties became a great pleasure.
Around 1450, haikai no renga became popular. This style of linked verse contained puns (双关) and was humorous and amusing. The opening three lines were still called a hokku, and from haikai and hokku the term haiku evolved.
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