Monthly Archives: April 2012

TAIGI AND THE FALLEN BLOSSOMS

Today’s hokku is a spring hokku by Taigi.  To get the meaning of it in English I will take some liberties, then explain the original: Everything swept up Is cherry blossom; The evening temple.  The original says “Dust/rubbish all cherry-blossom; … Continue reading

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CAT DANCING

Issa wrote: Harusame ya neko ni odori wo oshieru ko Spring rain ya cat with dance wo teaches child Spring rain; The little girl teaches the cat To dance.  The little girl, unable to go out and play, has inflicted herself on the cat, … Continue reading

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I WAKE AND FEEL THE FELL OF DARK: HOPKINS’ DARK NIGHT OF THE SOUL

Here is another poem by Gerard Manley Hopkins, that rather difficult impressionistic poet whose use of language, though it makes his verses a task to unravel, is nonetheless brilliant. Today’s study is one of his dark poems.  Hopkins suffered from … Continue reading

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VIOLETS AND TIME

The woman Sono-jo wrote: Withered Between the tissue papers — Violets.  It is a very simple verse, not striking nor even very original, but it does remind us of beauty and impermanence. The oldest and last remaining relative of my parents’ … Continue reading

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DROWSING IN LOTOS-LAND: Part II

III Lo! in the middle of the wood, The folded leaf is woo’d from out the bud  With winds upon the branch, and there  Grows green and broad, and takes no care,  Sun-steep’d at noon, and in the moon  Nightly … Continue reading

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DROWSING IN LOTOS-LAND: TENNYSON’S THE LOTOS-EATERS

The poem discussed today is by the British poet Alfred Tennyson.  It is based upon a short incident in the ancient Greek Odyssey by Homer, which tells of the years-long attempt of Odysseus and his sailors to return to their … Continue reading

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“GETTING” R. H. BLYTH

If you want to understand what R. H. Blyth meant by connecting Zen and hokku, it can be stated very simply. To Blyth, Zen was the elimination of the boundary between self and other, between subject and object.  I have … Continue reading

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