Tag Archives: Shiki

HOKKU MISCONCEPTIONS, HOKKU FACTS

  Anyone teaching hokku today is faced with the very pervasive and glaring misconceptions fostered by modern haiku enthusiasts about it over about the last half century.  Chief among them are these: 1.  The notion that Bashō, Taigi, Issa, 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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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF SMALL THINGS

One of the first problems a new student of hokku encounters is the selection of material, and this question arises: What subject is worth making into a hokku? The answer is that to make a hokku interesting, one must pick … 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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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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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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INCREASING YIN: THE LIGHT GOES OUT

I often mention that Shiki, who is generally considered (inaccurately) the founder of the modern haiku movement, just continued to write hokku, for the most part, though he called them “haiku.” Not only were his verses hokku in form, they … Continue reading

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