Monthly Archives: March 2010

ABOUT LINKED VERSE (OR NOT)

Readers may have noticed that even though I teach the old “haikai” kind of hokku, I nonetheless have very little to say about the practice of linked verse (renga).  That is because it has never interested me.  In fact there … Continue reading

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FROG WORLD

Issa wrote: Waga kado e    shiranande hairu    kawazu kana My       gate   e unknowing coming-in  frog     kana Entering My gate unaware — A frog. Six words. The whole point of the verse lies … Continue reading

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WAGONS, NO JETS

One of the great differences between hokku and modern haiku is found in subject matter.  In modern haiku one finds verses about all the things that hokku, for one reason or another, rejected.  I say “for one reason or another,” … Continue reading

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A PATH TO THE SEA

We have seen how to begin working with models in hokku, using the method of substitution.  It is important to keep in mind,however, that this is only a beginning.  It will enable one to follow the form and structure of … Continue reading

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KNOWING WHEN TO BE SILENT

Edward Richard Burton Shanks wrote a poem titled “A Night-Piece” in the “Georgian” period of English poetry (1910-1936) — a work a bit overlong that ends with these words: Again . . . again! The faint sounds rise and fail. … Continue reading

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THE LARK ASCENDING: MORE WORK WITH MODELS

There is not just a single way to translate a hokku from one language to another.  Structurally, and in vocabulary, Japanese and English are very different.  And English has considerable freedom in how one says a thing.  This is very … Continue reading

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A SENSIBLE CAUTION

For those of us who have a regular meditative practice (and I hope that is many of us) here is a very sensible posting by a Buddhist monk.  It is something everyone should take to heart when going for spiritual … Continue reading

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