Monthly Archives: November 2014

SNOW AND SELFLESSNESS

In the previous posting I mentioned the “selflessness” of hokku — how the emphasis is generally (as it should be in hokku) on the experience, not on the writer. In hokku the writer does not draw attention to himself or … Continue reading

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HOKUSHI’S POND STARS

A winter verse by Hokushi: Stars on the pond; Again the patter Of winter rain. It is a chilly winter night. The rain has ceased, and one can see the silver stars reflected on the still dark surface of the … Continue reading

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NO SKY, NO EARTH…

A repeat of one of my favorite old winter hokku, by Hashin — clear, direct, simple, and very effective: No sky, no earth; Only snow Ceaselessly falling. For those who may not have experienced a good snowstorm, this hokku is … Continue reading

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ANCIENT LAKE? OLD POND? AND HOW MANY DUCKS?

I often mention how the verses of Masaoka Shiki, paradoxically considered the “founder” of modern haiku, were actually for the most part just the old hokku under a different name. They certainly bear little resemblance to much that is written … Continue reading

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A TIME OF GHOSTS: I HOPE YOU WILL READ IT

Many of you probably do not know that I wrote a book with a long-time friend of mine, the account of his years growing up in China. It begins before the Communist Revolution and continues into the terrible upheaval that … Continue reading

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SANTA’S LITTLE HELPERS…OR NOT SO LITTLE

It is that time of the year again. Nederland (the Netherlands) is having its annual controversy over Zwarte Piet, the very black fellow with bright clothing, ruffed collar, brilliant red smile and golden earrings who follows St. Nicholas around and … Continue reading

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EVEN THE CROW…

Bashō wrote two very similar winter hokku, using a different technique in each. You will recall that in winter, hokku using opposites are often effective (as they are in summer) by presenting us with contrasting elements. Bashō does that in … Continue reading

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