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HOUSMAN’S FLOWERS: I HOED AND TRENCHED AND WEEDED

Today we will take a look at poem # 63 — LXIII in Latin numerals — the last poem in Alfred Edward Housman’s collection A Shropshire Lad: I HOED AND TRENCHED AND WEEDED I hoed and trenched and weeded, And … Continue reading

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CANDLEMAS AND CONTROVERSY

Yes, today is Candlemas — Imbolc — the beginning of spring in the old calendar.  It hardly seems like it, waking to a freezing wind and the likelihood of snow, but nonetheless the Wheel of the Year has turned, and … Continue reading

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AFTERMATH: A POST-HOLIDAYS SENRYU

After the New Year, A Christmas tree At every trash bin. It may look like hokku, having the same outer form — the same “shell,” but it is not.  It is the subject matter that makes it something else, and … Continue reading

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ARRANGING A HOKKU: SHIKI’S GATE

I often say that in spite of his reputation as the “founder” of haiku, Shiki really wrote hokku, though he tended toward verses that were like sketches in words.  Perhaps you have come across Blyth’s translation of one of his … Continue reading

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HOKKU PATTERNS: SETTING/SUBJECT/ACTION AND SUBJECT/ACTION

There are many ways of arranging the elements of an experience to make a hokku.  We always think first of the common “Setting/Subject/Action” method, found in hokku such as this slight variant on one by Seibi: (Winter) The flame of … Continue reading

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THREE SUPERIOR HOLIDAY MOVIES

There are a LOT of holiday movies out there on DVD.  Most of them are really mediocre.  Much is made about the old — and still pleasant — It’s a Wonderful Life, which is frequently seen on television every year … Continue reading

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GLAD YULE: THE WINTER SOLSTICE

Tomorrow — December 21st — is the Winter Solstice, the ancient holiday of Great Yule.  It is the shortest day of the year and the longest night.  It is also the turning point after which the days once more gradually … Continue reading

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