Monthly Archives: June 2015

COOL, CLEAR WATER

  With the unseasonably hot weather here, my thoughts turn naturally to cool water. There is a verse by Shiki that is rather awkward in English if translated too literally, but it comes out well if we just take the … Continue reading

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SENSATION AND UNITY IN HOKKU

Here we are on Midsummer’s Day, the Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year. In the previous posting, I said that for a hokku to create a poetic-sensory experience in the mind, the writer has to create the right … Continue reading

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HOKKU: CREATE THE RIGHT CONDITIONS

In the previous posting, I wrote that the poetic-aesthetic experience created in the mind on reading a hokku is involuntary; it just happens, because the hokku has created the right conditions for it to happen. To better understand this, let’s … Continue reading

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HOKKU: DON’T THINK, JUST EXPERIENCE

In the previous posting, I paraphrased R. H. Blyth’s definition of hokku: A non-intellectual sensory experience outside the conscious will. We can think of this as referring both to the initial experience of the writer and to the experience of … Continue reading

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SENSORY EXPERIENCE: THE HOKKU AESTHETIC

R. H. Blyth, in a very convoluted paragraph tucked away in his little-read volume titled Senryu, gives an ultimately simple definition of the hokku aesthetic that I will put into easily-understandable words: Hokku is a non-intellectual sensory experience outside the … Continue reading

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DUST IN THE WIND: HOUSMAN’S “FROM FAR, FROM EVE AND MORNING”

Today we will return to Alfred Edward Housman’s anthology A Shropshire Lad, though we will skip ahead for now to poem #32, which is titled FROM FAR, FROM EVE AND MORNING From far, from eve and morning And yon twelve-winded … Continue reading

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THE PRESENCE OF ABSENCE: A VERSE BY SHIKI

Masaoka Shiki wrote a summer verse that, like many hokku, creates both an image and a mood in the mind of the reader: A cicada cries At the gate of the empty house; The evening sun. The point of this … Continue reading

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