Tag Archives: winter

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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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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INTENTION AND TRANSLATION: BASHŌ’S ONE-COLOR WORLD

Bashō wrote an interesting winter hokku that is often found mistranslated.  It is, in Japanese: 冬  枯  れ  や   世は一色に 風の音 Fuyu-gare ya  yo wa hito iro [isshoku] ni   kaze no oto The mistranslation usually comes in the … Continue reading

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BECOMING ONE WITH EMPTINESS: ROBERT FROST’S DESERT PLACES

Today I would like to discuss a “snow” poem by the noted American poet Robert Frost.  To understand the title, we must not mistake “desert” as meaning a hot, dry, sandy place.  Instead, Frost uses it in its old sense, … Continue reading

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AN EARLY WINTER HOKKU

Winter begins; In the withered fields No bird sings. A friend in the Netherlands sent this photo taken by his wife on her walk through the Holterberg region.  She kindly gave her permission for me to use it.  It really … Continue reading

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HALLOWEEN

Well, tonight being HALLOWEEN — Samhain — the ancient beginning of winter, I have my pumpkin carved, lit, and ready to ward off any evil spirits or wicked witches that may be abroad tonight: Somehow its face reminds me of … Continue reading

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A BURSTING JUG, AND CHANGING THE SITE COMMENTS POLICY

A very effective hokku by Bashō: (Winter) Waking suddenly; A water pot burst In the icy night. I have added the “suddenly” (as Blyth also does in his translation) because it is implied by the event.  The jug has burst … Continue reading

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