Monthly Archives: March 2012

TAO YUAN-MING’S SPRING

R. H. Blyth called this work by Tao Qian (Tao Yuan-ming, c. 365-427) and translated by Arthur Waley “the best translation… of the best poem in the world.” Swiftly the years, beyond recall, Solemn the stillness of this fair morning. … Continue reading

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HOKKU ROOTS: BAI JUYI’S SIXTY-SIX

Today I will talk briefly about a poem by the Chinese writer Bai Juyi (772 -846, also written as Po Chu-yi). You may recall from previous discussions of Chinese poetry here that most Chinese poems  are written in couplets (pairs … Continue reading

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MELTING SNOW

As regular readers here know, I treat many of the verses of Shiki as hokku because they are hokku in form and content, in spite of his use of the revisionist term “haiku” for what he wrote. Knowing that, we are … Continue reading

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LINGERING SNOW: TAIGI’S BAMBOOS

Somewhat unusual in its scope of scale and distance, this verse by Taigi is reminiscent of Chinese poetry in its feeling of vastness: it gives one the sense of hiking up into cold, silent and remote hills: Far from any … Continue reading

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THE ESSENTIAL IMPORTANCE OF YIN AND YANG IN HOKKU

I often talk about Yin and Yang in hokku.  In fact I talk about them so much that another name for the kind of hokku I teach might be “Yin-Yang” hokku.  That is how important it is — so important … Continue reading

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THE BASICS OF HOKKU AESTHETICS

In a previous posting, you will recall, I said that one may have a verse in the outward form of a hokku, with everything in it correct, and still not have a hokku.  That is because to be a real … Continue reading

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THE SPRING HOKKU CALENDAR

Because the practice of hokku is so intimately connected with the seasons, I like to regularly remind readers where we are in the “old” hokku calendar in its traditional Western version, the Wheel of the Year, which very closely approximates … Continue reading

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