Monthly Archives: November 2009

DECEMBER AND YULETIDE

December will soon begin, and with it comes the holiday season. How does one deal with holidays in hokku?  The same way one deals with a season.  A holiday verse is like a miniature seasonal verse — in other words, … Continue reading

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BLOWING LEAVES

A hokku appropriate to late autumn, by the woman Sono-jo: A dog barking At the sound of the leaves; The windstorm. It is an odd fact in hokku that the simplest are often the best, and this is a very … Continue reading

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NO DIVIDED ATTENTION

I have to confess that years of involvement with hokku have made me very leery of metaphor and simile in verse.  You will recall that metaphor is saying that one thing is another — for example when people say “We … Continue reading

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HOKKU TO MAKE YOU COLD

An old winter hokku by Sōgi, who lived long before Bashō: In the freezing night, The ceaseless flapping Of duck wings. We can easily see its form.  It is: Setting:  In the freezing night. Subject: duck wings Action:  the ceaseless … Continue reading

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THE FARTHER ONE TRAVELS THE LESS ONE KNOWS

On setting out on a journey, Bashō wrote: Tabibito to   waga na yobaren   hatsushigure Traveler to my      name shall-be   first-winter-rain “Traveler” Shall be my name; The first rain of winter. If that last line looks … Continue reading

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ENTERPRISES THAT REQUIRE NEW CLOTHES

The almost frantic desire of contemporary society to drop whatever is perceived as no longer fashionable in favor of whatever is new should hold no attraction for writers of hokku.  Such chronic dissatisfaction as just another manifestation of the illusion … Continue reading

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LEARNING THROUGH TRANSLATION PROGRAMS

I see that some people read my site in Italian, in Spanish, in Czech, Russian, and other languages by using Internet software.  I wish that I could write as fluently in all those languages as in English, but I cannot. … Continue reading

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