Tag Archives: spring

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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THE YELLOW WATERS OF SPRING OR THE SPRING’S YELLOW WATERS?

Ransetsu wrote a spring hokku about the flowering shrub called yamabuki —山吹  — which is generally translated into English as “mountain rose.”  That is, however, rather confusing for Westerners, who generally think it looks little like the roses they know. … 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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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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OH SEE HOW THICK THE GOLDCUP FLOWERS: A SMART GIRL MAKES HER ESCAPE

Today’s poem from Alfred Edward Housman’s A Shropshire Lad is a dialogue between a young man and, it turns out, a rather clever girl: OH SEE HOW THICK THE GOLDCUP FLOWERS Oh see how thick the goldcup flowers Are lying … Continue reading

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