Monthly Archives: March 2015

SPOKEN AND UNSPOKEN: WALTER SAVAGE LANDOR AND HOKKU

In much of Western poetry, an event is used simply as a lead-in to talking about another subject somehow related to the first. An example is this poem by Walter Savage Landor (1775-1864): DEATH OF DAY My pictures blacken in … Continue reading

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SPRING CONTRAST, SPRING SIMILARITY

Here is a variation on a hokku by Buson: The heavy doors Of a temple gate close; The spring evening. What is behind appreciation of this verse? First, it is set in the season of spring, which is a time … Continue reading

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NOT LONG TO STAY: HOUSMAN’S LENTEN LILY

If you read the earlier posting on Alfred Edward Housman’s poem Loveliest of Trees, you will notice a similarity of spirit with today’s poem, which is the 29th in his collection A Shropshire Lad. Also a “spring” poem, it is … Continue reading

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YIN AMID YANG: BUSON’S MISTY GRASSES

Here is a spring hokku by Buson. Whenever I read it, it reminds me of 19th-century American paintings of the rural countryside as it was in those quieter, greener days: The grasses are misty, The water silent; Evening … It … Continue reading

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FALLING STARS AND FAITHFUL WOMEN

Today I want to talk about a rather odd poem by John Donne (1572-1631). I will give it in its old spelling. Many find it rather difficult because of its old-fashioned language. It is one of those poems that sound … Continue reading

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