Tag Archives: Issa

LEARN FROM THE SCARECROW: ISSA’S HARVEST MOON

An autumn hokku by Issa: Standing unaffected Beneath a Harvest Moon – The scarecrow. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.  We admire and ooh! and ah! over the large, bright … Continue reading

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AUTUMN AND THE MORNING GLORY

Today I would like to talk about morning glory hokku. Why?  Because I happened to pass a blooming morning glory vine this morning, as you can see from the above photo.  Also, in old Japanese hokku, the morning glory was … Continue reading

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A LEADING DOG: DETERMINING QUALITY IN HOKKU

Context makes a huge difference in hokku, even if one uses the same subject. Let’s talk about dogs. Issa wrote two hokku — one a summer hokku, one autumn — in which a dog is leading someone somewhere.  But one … Continue reading

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HOW TO READ A HOKKU: ONE MAN, ONE FLY, ONE ROOM

People often forget that in learning hokku, one does not just learn how to write them, but also how to read them. The same principles that apply to writing apply also to reading, and both are important.  If one does … Continue reading

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ALAS, THAT SPRING SHOULD VANISH WITH THE ROSE

Issa wrote a hokku for the end of spring: Sough, sough – Spring departs; The grass of the fields. If you do not like the respectable old word sough for the rustling, sighing sound of the wind through the grasses, you … Continue reading

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THE ROAD GOES EVER ON: AUTUMN AND JOURNEYING

I have always had the feeling, when autumn has arrived, that it is time to begin reading Tolkien’s works The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings.  And that in spite of the fact that the first book in the … Continue reading

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HAPPY HALLOWEEN FROM KOBAYASHI ISSA

Issa wrote: Withered pampas grass; “Now once there was an old witch….” That verse does not come off quite the same in English, because of the term “pampas grass” that we must use for what Issa knew as susuki — … Continue reading

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