Monthly Archives: February 2010

FAILURE OF TRANSMISSION

It is interesting to note that the term haiku did not begin to catch on in the West until the middle of the 1900s.  Prior to that time, when Americans or Europeans spoke of the brief Japanese verse form, they … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

ENDING THE CONFUSION ABOUT HOKKU, HAIKU, AND ZEN

Here  — for convenience — I have combined several earlier articles explaining how Western haiku enthusiasts thoroughly confused hokku and haiku in the 20th century, completely misunderstanding not only hokku but its connection to “Zen,” and thoroughly misleading the public … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

WHAT THING HAS MY SOUL LEARNED?

Lately I have begun discussing little-known poems that one does not find in the modern college anthologies, poems that have virtues of one kind or another, however simple those virtues may be. Margaret Widdemer (1884-1978), once wrote a poem called … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE YOUNG SHIPS SAIL AWAY

There are some poems that are little-remembered, often because something is not quite right in them, but yet a line or a few lines will stick in the mind — though perhaps recalled not quite correctly — like the flash … Continue reading

Posted in metaphor, poetry | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

NOT HOKKU, JUST A BIT OF OINTMENT

Not hokku, not even great poetry, but it has something to teach us nonetheless.  I came across it many decades ago, and am not even sure precisely where: Once little cares annoyed me When life’s little cares were few; And … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

FADED VIOLETS

Sono-jo — another female writer of hokku — wrote: Isogashi ya   sumire wo tsumeba   tsukuzuku shi Busy       ya violets wo picking    thoroughly So occupied — Absorbed in picking violets. Sometimes one becomes so absorbed … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

VIOLETS, HEART AND MIND

Today I see the robins are out, and violets have begun to bloom. In “organic” hokku, as we might call the modern system, we do not use specific season words to classify our hokku; instead we classify them by merely … Continue reading

Posted in haikai, haiku, hokku, spring, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment