Monthly Archives: December 2009

A WORD BEFORE THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Tomorrow is the Winter Solstice, in old tradition the time of the rebirth of the sun, the beginning of inner and outer change. For almost fifteen years I have been teaching hokku on the Internet, trying to dig the muck … Continue reading

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WINTER LIGHT

Michihiko, who lived in the time of Issa, wrote: Kare-ashi ya             yuki no chirakutsuku   kaze no ato Withered-reeds ya snow’s  flitting              wind ‘s after Withered reeds; The … Continue reading

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PEOPLE’S VOICES

Here is my periodic disclaimer: I do not teach modern haiku, which, as it exists today, has virtually nothing to do with the old hokku written by Bashō, Onitsura, Gyōdai, Taigi, and all the others who wrote up until the … Continue reading

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NOT DIVIDING THE ATTENTION

Yesterday we looked at this verse by Hokushi: Karakasa no    ikutsu sugiyuku    yuki no kure Umbrella  ‘s    many    pass-by      snow ‘s  evening Many umbrellas Passing by; The snowy evening. In contrast, Yaha wrote: Karakasa … Continue reading

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WINDY SNOW

We have seen that hokku avoids the use of the words “I,” “me,” and “my” unless it is awkward to do so.  That means there is no emphasis on the “I” as ego, but that does not mean those words … Continue reading

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POPPING COALS AND PAINTED PINES

I have already said that Issa’s hokku reflect a scarred and sad childhood.  That is why he tended to project his emotions onto other creatures and things: Asabare ni   pachipachi sumi no   kigen kana Morning-clear at pop-pop charcoal … Continue reading

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RED ON WHITE, CROW ON SNOW

We all know that Shiki was the individual who began the revisionism that has proved so disastrous for hokku — so damaging, in fact, that in the 20th century most people did not even realize that Bashō and all the … Continue reading

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