Monthly Archives: September 2013

WHAT TO DO WITH BUSH CLOVER

Some old Japanese hokku do not work very well in English because we are not familiar with all of the elements, for example in this autumn hokku by Sesshi: Oriori ya            amado ni     sawaru … Continue reading

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LEARNING FROM PEAR JUICE

It may seem odd that we can use some verses of Masaoka Shiki to demonstrate how to write hokku, given that Shiki provided the impetus for what became the erratic “haiku” movement, but as I have said many times, much … Continue reading

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TWO SHOOTING SCARECROWS; AVOIDING FANTASY IN HOKKU

Shiki, who set the “haiku” off on its increasingly erratic course near the beginning of the 20th century, wrote a great many verses  that are actually just hokku under a different name.  They still have a focus on Nature and … Continue reading

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LEARN FROM THE SCARECROW: ISSA’S HARVEST MOON

An autumn hokku by Issa: Standing unaffected Beneath a Harvest Moon — The scarecrow. Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet that nothing is either good or bad but thinking makes it so.  We admire and ooh! and ah! over the large, bright … Continue reading

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AUTUMN AND THE MORNING GLORY

Today I would like to talk about morning glory hokku. Why?  Because I happened to pass a blooming morning glory vine this morning, as you can see from the above photo.  Also, in old Japanese hokku, the morning glory was … Continue reading

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SEASON WORDS? BE THANKFUL FOR MODERN HOKKU!

To the large numbers of  Westerners who began to read old hokku (usually misnamed “haiku”) in one or another English translation in the middle of the 20th century, it all looked so simple and quick.  All one had to do … Continue reading

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DON’T LET SLEEPING DOGS LIE: LEARNING HOKKU BY PLAYING WITH MODELS

Many people think of Masaoka Shiki as a writer of haiku, but much of what Shiki wrote was simply hokku under a different and now very misleading name. Because they were generally still hokku in form and content, Shiki’s verses … Continue reading

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