Tag Archives: question hokku

VANISHED SPRINGS: ISSA’S VIOLETS

Issa wrote a spring “question” hokku about violets: (Spring) Who was it That lived here before me? The violets…. “The violets” is not an answer to his question, but rather the context.  He is wondering what kind of people were … Continue reading

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IT WAS THE THIRD OF JUNE…

Today I am going to combine some things I have talked about lately: First is the “Question” hokku, the whole point of which is to ask a question — or raise a question — that remains unanswered. Shiki wrote a … Continue reading

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THE UNANSWERED QUESTION

In hokku aesthetics, we find that it often favors that which is undecided, undetermined, incomplete.  We see that in two verses which superficially appear very different.  The first is by Chora: The summer moon; On the other side of the … Continue reading

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KNOWING WHEN TO BE SILENT

Edward Richard Burton Shanks wrote a poem titled “A Night-Piece” in the “Georgian” period of English poetry (1910-1936) — a work a bit overlong that ends with these words: Again . . . again! The faint sounds rise and fail. … Continue reading

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UNKNOWING

There is something very mysterious and significant about a question. In the Zen sect, one major practice is the continual asking of an internal question — “Why did Bodhidharma come from the West?” perhaps, or “What was my true face … Continue reading

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