Writing this, I came up against one of those thorny questions in language; how may syllables in ‘hours’? It is not the only word to be so confusing, nor is there any definitive help in the dictionaries. Opinions vary, so does pronunciation depending upon regional or national accent…and so does the usage of those poets upon whom we might depend to point the way. Shakespeare, for example, seems to use it as both monosyllabic, disyllabic and sometimes as whatever floats the reader’s literary boat.
There are other words that offer the same problem… things like ‘fire’ and ‘flower’. In poetic forms where syllable count matters, they can be a nightmare for the writer…and a big red target for critics whose pronunciation or rendering of the poem differs from that of its creator.
In the established ‘English form’ of haiku… itself a variant and interpretation of the much older and more complex Japanese form… the 5-7-5 ‘rule’ of syllabic counting is approved as the norm. It is not, however, the only way to write haiku and other forms are both accepted and celebrated. Indeed, the Japanese may well have composed to a traditional count of seventeen, but the language counts sounds, not syllables.
…Although the word “on” is sometimes translated as “syllable”, one on is counted for a short syllable, two for an elongated vowel or doubled consonant, and one for an “n” at the end of a syllable. Wikipedia
Instead of agonising over syllable counts and tearing your hair out as you write, or pointing the proverbial finger at those poems which seems not to conform to ‘the rules’, perhaps we should, instead, look at the thoughts and layered ideas a verse contains and see beyond its form to its heart.
Poetry is an echo, asking a shadow to dance. Carl Sandburg