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Evening temple bell.

How it goes on resounding

in the trembling plum.

The stressed end word ‘bell’ and the period create the natural pause at the end of the first line. The word ‘plum’ is also a stressed syllable, and brings the last line to a natural conclusion, helped also by the natural rhythmic pattern in English of an unstressed syllable followed by a stressed one in the words ‘resounding in the trembling plum.’ It works well enough to allow us to omit the period at the end of the first line if we wished, and to rely on the line arrangement to enforce the pause that naturally follows the stressed ‘bell’:

Evening temple bell

     how it goes on resounding

in the trembling plum

The important point is that a well-constructed haiku will fall into two parts marked by a naturally occurring pause. And the ending will sound conclusive:

The moon slipping through

this vast thicket of bamboo.

A cuckoo calling. (Bashō)

Although the final syllable here is unstressed it is not unexpected because the line’s regular rhythm predicts it. And the incidental occurrence of a rhymed ending to the second line reinforces the sense of a conclusion to the first two line section.

The effect of the pause is not only to separate the two sections, but to make a link between them – a pause for breath in expectation of a second image that will take us back to reconsider the first, for the concluding line does not move us away from the first lines, but takes us back to them. The shape of a haiku is not linear but circular.