Monthly Archives: August 2009

LEARNING HOKKU: First Pattern

Here is the first pattern for learning hokku.  It is by Gyōdai: The autumn hills; Here and there Smoke rises. And here is how one uses a pattern for learning: All parts of it can be changed, as long as … Continue reading

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HOKKU IN AUTUMN

In hokku it is essential to write in harmony with the season.  The most important quality of autumn is transience — the fact that everything changes, all is impermanent, nothing stays.  Autumn is transience. In autumn hokku, we experience and … Continue reading

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PREPARING TO LEARN HOKKU

Only a single day remains before August ends and September begins.  The Summer months — June, July and August — give way to the Autumn months — September, October and November. Through hokku we are taken away from the excessive … Continue reading

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JUMPING FROG, WALKING BIRD

The previous posting dealt with the correct translation of Bashō’s spring “Old Pond” hokku into English.  But what is significant for us is understanding the verse as an example of hokku. The old pond; A frog jumps in — The … Continue reading

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ANOTHER LEAP INTO THE OLD POND

Someone asked me today about the correct translation of Bashō’s famous “Old Pond” hokku, a spring verse.  What prompted the reader’s question was seeing a version in a recent book in which the last two lines were rendered as, “…a … Continue reading

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LINGERING HEAT

Modern people tend to view the world as a collection of separate and unrelated things, without seeing the whole.  But life is not that way.  In reality, everything is connected to everything else. No event happens in isolation, as an … Continue reading

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IF YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT JAPANESE HOKKU WAS LIKE….

By chance I flipped open a book to the Japanese original of a hokku by Onitsura, one of the two “patriarchs” of our kind of hokku.  Though it is out of season, it gives me a good opportunity to show … Continue reading

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