Monthly Archives: January 2010

ALWAYS SEEKING SOMETHING…

People sometimes tell me that the fragmentation and constant change and bickering one sees in modern haiku (in contrast to hokku) are a sign of vitality and creativity.  Not surprisingly, I do not at all see it that way.  Instead … Continue reading

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STORK STEPS AND EMPTY HUTS

As I have pointed out in earlier postings, some old hokku do not travel well.  They are so oriented to a specific culture that when removed from that context, they lose their meaning. A good example is Shōha’s Haru tatsu … Continue reading

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Shiki and Spring

There are two ways of looking at Masaoka Shiki, the fellow who nearly destroyed hokku through his revisionism. Historically speaking, Shiki is the originator of the “haiku” as the term is understood today.  All modern writers of haiku, no matter … Continue reading

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SPRING AND NEW BEGINNINGS

In old hokku, spring began with the Lunar New Year, which came on varying dates between the end of January and the middle of February.  This year, for example, the Lunar New Year will happen on February 14th. In modern … Continue reading

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TWO ROADS DIVERGED….

Yesterday I discussed the well-intentioned but rather futile effort of James W. Hackett to halt and reverse the “aesthetic devolution” of the modern haiku.  As readers here know, I do not teach or advocate haiku, so some explanation is necessary … Continue reading

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HACKETT HEWS AT HAIKU

Someone kindly sent me the link to an article by James W. Hackett on the “aesthetic devolution” of modern haiku.  No doubt the person who shared the link felt that Hackett and I perceive similar problems, though I teach hokku … Continue reading

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DEEP OR MEDIOCRE?

Depth in hokku depends on both writer and reader.  We can see that on examining two verses of Bashō written in two different years, both winter hokku.  Here is the first: Byōbu ni wa    yama o egaite    fuyugomori Screen … Continue reading

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