The problem is that poetry is a decadent art form. That is to say one that has accreted so much technique and convention that it is hard for a person without specific schooling in the subject to simply enjoy. Two hundred years ago, poetry was a popular art form in the Western world. Now it is largely an academic one.
Japanese poetry provides something of a cyclic model of this. In the earliest days, "important" poetry was written in Chinese using Chinese forms. Court poetry in the Japanese language (called waka) was an everyday, commonplace thing. People wrote poems on every conceivable kind of occasion. The Japanese form was reserved for spontaneous kinds of work, and valued sincerety and simplicity. Once this kind of poetry was recognized as something valuable in itself, people began to study it critically and obtain a kind of encyclopedic knowledge of the early collections like the Manyoshu and Kokinshu.
This critical sophistication had advantages and disadvantages. One can easily read the Manyoshu poems (at least in translation) without any sophisticated knowledge, but later court poems in this style became like icebergs with 9/10 of their bulk below the surface. They were meant to be read by somebody who would catch the merest hint of an allusion to well known, or even obscure prior art. The benefit is that the poems that have a lot of content in a very small space. The cost is that reading and writing them becomes much more strenuous.
As waka were a kind of informal break from the rigors of Chinese poetry, Japanese poets began to engage in a kind of social event called linked poetry (renga). Several poets would contribute alternating 5-7-5 and 7-7 verses in a marathon drinking and versifying session. Naturally, this tradition rapidly began to develop complicated rules, in which each new contribution was expected to move the poem in a particular direction. People began to collect initial 5-7-5 verses they chess enthusiasts collect chess problems. These were called Hokku. When the drafting of hokku became a recognized art form in itself, haiku was born. Haiku, in a way, was born as a decadent art form.
Most English readers enjoy the 5-7-5 verse form in a very different way than somebody with a serious interest in haiku. For one thing the rhythms of English are very different from Japanese. Indigenous poetic forms vary between languages because the sounds of the languages differ. In Italian or Latin, poem forms are built around long and short vowels; in Japanese, around syllable counts, in English, around the placement and alternation of stressed and unstressed syllables ("Around the rock the rugged rascal ran"). Japanese poetry is based on syllable counts. For English speakers, the 5-7-5 verse form is a very casual form. We enjoy it because it is free of requirements of stress patterns that a longer English poem must pay attention to, even if it is in free verse form, to sound poetic in our ears.
I think that the kind of people who frequent K5 are quite capable of reading and enjoying poetry, but many need some basic grounding in the theory and practice. Since everyone here reads English, I think learning about English poetry first makes sense. For that I'd recommend Burton Raffel's "How to Read a Poem", which explains issues like imagery and scansion very clearly, and a number of excellent and diverse examples. For a basic grounding in Japanese poetry, I'd recommend becoming familiar with the Manyoshu. These early works are the most accessible of Japanese poetry.
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