Updated Haiku Foundation News: Print Anthology Available

The Haiku Foundation’s Volunteer Appreciation Day was held Sept. 17  to recognize all of its volunteers. Make a point of viewing the Volunteer Anthology online that recognizes people who serve in various capacities. The photos and poems of these global poets are featured.

Click on the link below:

https://thehaikufoundation.org/thf-volunteer-appreciation-day-2022/

You may also purchase the print edition of the Anthology through Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0BF2XK6CR

 

Further, learn all about THF and think about volunteering.  This longtime organization is simply a must for all haiku poets and aspiring ones, providing invaluable resources for all.

 

Below are just a few of the many free THF benefits of this non-membership organization:

 

  • Inclusion in “The Haiku Registry” with your biography and samples of your poetry.

 

  • Development of your haiku skills by reading the daily work of other poets and getting your own poetry published.

 

  • Access to the largest hard copy library of haiku materials outside of Japan. THF features holdings of more than 10,000 books and journals and an extensive collection of haiku ephemera. Its Digital Library complements this collection with hundreds of rare and unusual, as well as contemporary books; a collection of significant essays on the genre; an audio/visual library; and the Cor van den Heuvel Archival library.

 

  • Comprehensive educational resources for learning all about haiku and guidance for those who wish to teach it at all levels with lesson plans provided.

 

  • THF’s Haikupedia is a reader-friendly online haiku encyclopedia about all aspects of haiku, present and past.

 

  • You may enter competitions to receive awards

 

  • You may participate in special events

 

 

 

Posted in anthology, Foundation, Haiku, The Haiku Foundation | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 26, 2022

genealogy:
the earth from
my grandparents’ garden
 
 
by S.M. Kozubek (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 35:3, 2012
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, micro-poetry, Nature, s.m. kozubek | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Thanks to Those Who Attended My Haiku & Senryu Workshop!

Haiku Poet Kathy Cotton just sent me this photo she took of  Zoom participants of the Illinois State Poetry Society who attended my haiku and senryu workshop yesterday. Thanks to Thomas Chockley who organized and hosted it, and  to Susan Moss, ISPS President, who promoted it!

The workshop had 19 participants, including those whose work has appeared on this blog: Kathy Cotton,  Thomas Chockley, Mary Jo Balistreri, S.M. Kozubek,  Cassandra McGovern,  and Mary Beth Bretzlauf. Other poets in attendance were:  Cielo Jones, Susan Cherry,  Susan Moss,  Jeff Kressmann, Bakul Banerjee, Pauline Kochanski, Cheryl Weber, Bill Lederer,  Candace Armstrong, Carol Bolinski, Gay Guard-Chamberlin,  Michael Scott, Jane Desmond.  From the top, Left to right: Digregorio, Cotton, Chockley, Lederer, Chamberlin, Balistreri, Moss, Kozubek, Bretzlauf, Cherry, Weber, Scott, Armstrong, Kochanski, Bolinski, Desmond, McGovern, Jones, Kressmann.thumbnail_ISPS workshop 2022-09-24 at 2.10.17 PM

I give workshops each month for various organizations, both general poetry and haiku.

Stay tuned for more announcements!

Incidentally, for those of you who can’t attend my workshops, please check out my book,

Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, through libraries. Or, you can purchase it from me, if you live in the U.S. or Canada.

Contact me at:

c-books@hotmail.com

Best,

Charlotte Digregorio

 

 

Posted in Author, Charlotte Digregorio, Haiku, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, micropoetry, Poetry, Senryu, Workshops | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 25, 2022

labour day

the squirrels bury nuts

they will never find

by Marco Fraticelli (Canada)

Posted in Canada, creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Marco Fraticelli, Nature | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 24, 2022

ripe avocado – 

in its heart

a perfect moon

by Barrie Levine (USA)
Cold Moon Journal, October 2021
Posted in Barrie Levine, creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 23, 2022

best friend
I tell the dog my darkest
secrets
 
 
by Barbara Tate Sayre (USA), Author
darkness in a noonday night
Posted in Barbara Tate Sayre, Daily Haiku, dogs, Pets, Senryu | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 22, 2022

one red tulip
blooms in the hosta border
time alone with God
by Ellen Grace Olinger (USA)
A Moment’s Longing
Haiku Society of America Members’ Anthology, 2019
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Ellen Grace Olinger, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, micro-poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept, 21, 2022

cold light another empty bottle promise
by Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)
tinywords, 17.2, 2017
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Ireland, Marion Clarke, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 20, 2022

art studio
a visitor admires
the window frost
 
 
by John J. Dunphy (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. XXX, No. 1, 2007
Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, John J. Dunphy, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 19, 2022

scent of November white rain magnolia

by Dorna Hainds (USA)

Blo͞o Outlier Journal, Winter Issue, 2020

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Dorna Hainds, Haiku, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku Special: Sept. 18, 2022, Debbie Strange

2 Haiku by Debbie Strange (Canada), and a Tanka, too!

 

busker’s hat

a child offers coins

of dried lunaria

 

First Place

Bloodroot Haiku Award, 2022

 

canyonlands

a meadowlark sings

me out of myself

 

First Place

Drifting Sands Monuments #1 Contest, 2022

awaiting

rain’s unkept promise

crops wither

in the dust of dreams

passed down to me

 

First Place

Drifting Sands Monuments #1 Contest, 2022

 

Posted in Canada, Daily Haiku, Debbie Strange, Haiku, Tanka | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Celebrate The Haiku Foundation Volunteer Day!

Today is The Haiku Foundation’s Volunteer Appreciation Day to recognize all THF volunteers. Make a point of viewing the Volunteer Anthology online that recognizes these volunteers who serve in various capacities. The photos and poems of these global volunteers are featured.

Further, learn all about THF and think about volunteering, too.

This is the link below:

THF Volunteer Appreciation Day 2022

Posted in anthology, Haiku, Jim Kacian, Poetry, The Haiku Foundation | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 17, 2022

jazz pianistthe notes on and offthe page

by Ben Gaa (USA)

The Heron’s Nest, Vol. XVIII, No. 2, June 2016

Posted in Ben Gaa, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 16, 2022

the water’s surface 

broken

a fisherman casts in the rain

 

by Ce Rosenow (USA), Author

North Lake, 2004

Posted in Ce Rosenow, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 15, 2022

airport security
mother passes through
without looking back
 
 
by Robert Epstein (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. XXX, No. 1, 2007
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, memories, Mothers, Robert Epstein, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 14, 2022

zen meditation
trying hard to think . . .
about nothing
 
 
by Jay Friedenberg (USA)
Haiku Canada, Vol. 15, No. 2, October 2021
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Humor, Japan, Meditation, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 13, 2022

newborn
the unplanned
mother-in-law
 
 
by Roberta Beary, (USA/Ireland)
2019 Gerald Brady Senryu Contest
Haiku Society of America
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Humor, in-laws, Relatives, Roberta Beary, Senryu | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 12, 2022

female cardinal
my closet
of earth tones
 
 
by Julie Schwerin (USA)
Modern Haiku, Vol. 50.3, Autumn 2019
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Julie Schwerin, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Senryu Survey Results!

Senryu Survey Results

Back in August, I asked my international blog readers and members of the Haiku Society of America and Haiku Canada to respond to a question about senryu:

 

What is one word that you think best describes senryu? Obviously, there are several words, but just select one. Try to be original and not use the same word you would use to describe haiku.

 

I also asked poets to respond to me by email, rather than to post their word on the blog, so they wouldn’t be influenced by others’ responses.  I received 53 responses from 12 countries. (Of those, I disqualified three responses because two were irrelevant and one submission was two words that could have been reduced to one. When I asked the three respondents to submit another word, they didn’t.)

 

A popular word was “humanity” or related forms of the word.

I was especially pleased to find unexpected responses.

 

In general, respondents appeared to consider more of the humorous aspects of senryu, rather than the sometimes serious overtones of it. I was surprised that no one submitted the word “compassion,” though one respondent submitted “pathos” which is comparable.

I hope these responses keep you focused when you write senryu going forward, and that you judge your senryu more critically to determine what you’re trying to convey.

The submissions below are in the order received.

  1. pithy

Michael Henry Lee (USA)

2.  humanity  

Jill Spealman (USA)

     

  1. clever

 Ronald K. Craig (USA)

 

  1. humanitarian

 Myron Lysenko (Australia)

 

  1. city-mouse

 David McMurray (Japan–from the countryside)

 Note from McMurray:

Senryu can be defined as “city-mouse” poetry. Haiku can be defined as “country-mouse” poetry.  I refer to the dichotomy of “human affairs/nature” and “non-seasonal/seasonal” in “city-mouse/country-mouse” to convey the meanings of “senryu/haiku”.

The protagonists in Aesop’s fable have become idioms we can use to understand the difference between senryu and haiku. The city-mouse lifestyle is fun and has much human contact and human foibles. City adventures allude to dark humor and are often cynical and risque. The city-mouse used objective clearly worded criteria and preferred a city life with plenty of non-seasonal cakes and ale.

The country-mouse lifestyle provides a peaceful life with seasonal food such as wheat stalks, roots, and acorns, with a dash of cold water. The country-mouse used subjective or nuanced words and preferred to talk about and live in his safe farmlands without fear.

  1. enlightening

Harvey Jenkins (Canada)

 

  1. Wham!

Christine Eales (UK)

 

  1. witty

Philomene Kocher (Canada)

 

  1. humanity

Bryan D. Cook (Canada)

 

  1. humanity

Barry George (USA)

 

  1. connected

Joanne Morcom (Canada)

 

  1. humanity

 David Oates (USA)

 

  1. real

Dina E. Cox (Canada)

 

  1. humour

Liette Janelle (Canada)

 

  1. human

 Janice Doppler (USA)

  1. seasonless

 Al W Gallia (USA)

 

  1. existence

Blanca Baquero (Canada)

 

  1. coy

 Suzanne Warren Powell (Canada)

 

  1. sardonic

        Susan Spooner (Canada)

 

  1. irony

 Nancy Brady (USA)

  1. bawdy

 Barth H. Ragatz (USA)

 

  1. surprise

  Cynthia Gallaher (USA)

  1. satire

Lakshmi Iyer (India)

  1. eye-opening

Barrie Levine (USA)

 

  1. witty

 Mary Stevens (USA)

 

  1. corporeal

      Amelia Cotter (USA)

 

  1. human

 Joshua St. Claire (USA)

 

28. quirky

Ingrid Baluchi (North Macedonia)

 

  1. humanly

 Rick Daddario (USA)

 

  1. chuckle

 Caroline Giles Banks (USA)

 

  1. reflection

Jean Luce (USA)

  1. “inself”

Donna Bauerly (USA)

 Note from Bauerly:

I borrow from G.M. Hopkins who coined the word “inscape” to describe his poetic muse. Hopkins felt that everything in the universe was characterized by what he called inscape, “the distinctive design that constitutes individual identity.” This identity is not static, but dynamic. Each being in the universe ‘selves,’ that is, enacts its identity.

  1. foible

 Marilyn Appl Walker (USA)

 

  1. bittersweet

 Roberta Beary (USA/Ireland)

 

  1. personal

  Bee Jay (Australia)

 

  1. haikuesque

  Tom Painting (USA)

 

  1. witty

  Paula Griffin (USA)

 

  1. wry

  Peter Newton (USA)

 

  1. pathos

 Jerome Berglund (USA)

 

  1. seasonless

 Nani Mariani (Australia)

 

  1. wordplay

 Marion Clarke (Northern Ireland)

 

  1. emotional

  Lenard D. Moore (USA)

 

  1. mortal

 Maureen Weldon (Wales)

 

  1. satirical

  Stoianka Boianova (Bulgaria)

 

  1. humanity

  Minko Tanev (Bulgaria)

 

  1. mindful

   Eavonka Ettinger (USA)

 

  1. relatable

  Paul Beech (Wales)

 

  1. soul

  Eufemia Griffo (Italy)

 

  1. perspicacious

Tom Clausen (USA)

 

  1. whimsy

Polona Oblak (Slovenia)

 

Copyright 2022 by Charlotte Digregorio.

     

Posted in opinions, Poetry, Poets, Senryu, Short Poems, Survey | Tagged , , , , | 14 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 11, 2022

whittling
till there’s nothing left
of the light
by Jim Kacian (USA)
AntAntAntAntAnt, #5, 2002
Posted in creative writing, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Jim Kacian, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Surefire Ways to Get Published: Two Books Will Lead to Your Success!

 

Dear Readers and Followers:

Limited copies are left of my two poetry reference books, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All and Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. Act now to purchase them, otherwise you’ll have to wait until November when they each go into another printing!

A description of each book, along with fabulous reviews follows.

 

If you write haiku and senryu, you’re most likely serious about getting them published and improving your skills. You need to write the best poems you’re capable of. And, if you’d like to teach haiku and senryu at any level, to adults and students alike, you’ll need guidance. Having the right tools are essential.

 

Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All is available directly through this blog for purchase.  This is just the right book to get you writing, publishing, or teaching haiku and senryu! The book is offered for $19.95 plus $4 shipping and handling. (USA Customers). Canadians, please inquire about a discount.

Adobe Photoshop PDF

 

 

As an added bonus for all purchasers, I’ll provide an edit or revision of a haiku or senryu so that it will appear on this blog.

 

 

 You may contact me directly at c-books@hotmail.com with questions and for ordering information.

 

Below are some of the best reviews of Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. And beneath these reviews, you’ll find information about my latest poetry book, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing that will put you on the successful path to getting other poetic forms published.

 

 

Thanks to all of you who’ve taken the time to read all seven of my books and to comment through the years. It’s much appreciated. And thank you for reading this blog.

 

Keep writing  with fervor!

Best Wishes,

Charlotte Digregorio

 

Note: Charlotte Digregorio is a retired Writing and Foreign Language Professor, winner of 69 poetry awards, and a four-time nominee for Pushcart Prizes. She has more than 800 poems in print and writes 15 poetic forms. Digregorio has organized poetry conferences throughout the country, and speaks and gives workshops at national conferences. Her popular solo exhibits of healing poetry are featured at libraries, corporate buildings, hospitals, galleries, and park districts, among other venues.

 

  

Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All (232 pages)

 

 This is the book that launched thousands of haiku poets and haiku teachers!

 

An altogether brilliant work that must be read by anyone with so much as a passing interest in haiku. Charlotte Digregorio has penned a masterpiece! She has written the definitive guide to one of poetry’s most fascinating genres. This work belongs on the bookshelf of any poet who is serious about writing the kind of haiku that editors want to publish.

 

-–John J. Dunphy, Author and Poet, Touching Each Tree

 

  

This book is overall the best one out there on the subject. The amount of information is extraordinary and exceeds that found in any other book. In particular, the commentaries on selected poems are very good, intelligent, and sensitive, and really place keys into the hands of readers for unlocking the mysteries and joys of haiku literature–from its roots in Japan to its present robust evolution in English and other languages.

 

 

-–Michael McClintock, Award-Winning Author/Editor of Haiku & Tanka Books

Former President of The Tanka Society of America

 

If a book about haiku inspires the reader to create haiku, then Charlotte Digregorio’s Haiku and Senryu guide has done its job bountifully. Digregorio calls this “A Simple Guide for All” and she isn’t kidding. Her basic instruction simplifies the process of writing haiku without sacrificing the beauty and the pleasure that are essential. The examples of well-known haikuists shimmer with perfection! If you are interested in pursuing this lovely, subtle art form, THIS is the guide you need. Fantastic guide! I can’t believe how much I learned.

 

-–Robin Stratton, EditorBoston Literary Magazine

 

 

Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All is exactly what it says it is: a way into the reading, writing and publishing of the world’s favorite genre. Premised on the idea that one doesn’t need to be a professional poet to enjoy it, Haiku and Senryu will inform you on why poets and non-poets alike love the genre; how to read them for maximum enjoyment; where they came from; how to organize them; and how to get them into print and other people’s heads. Whether a newbie or a seasoned veteran, you’re sure to come away with a deeper appreciation of the genre. And it’s also a considerable anthology of some of the best English-language haiku to be found.

 

–The Haiku Foundation

 

 

A strong overview of haiku. A wealth of material on how to introduce and teach haiku to children, college students, and interested adults. For busy teachers the material will make it easier to provide guidance to their students. Any teacher would be thrilled for the helpful guidance, examples, and tools for presenting the form to the next generation. The pain and work involved in creating one’s own lesson plans is gone with the author’s well-honed presentations.

 

The bibliography also contains a wealth of material. Buy a copy for teachers, students, or interested poets and just tell them to read it. This volume will not steer them wrong, and gives any reader something with meat to hang their hat on while they discover or further explore haiku. It will remain on my shelf.

 

Mike Rehling, Book Reviewer, United Haiku and Tanka Society

 

 

Marvelous book! Marvelous insight. I truly enjoyed this book, being wonderfully surprised by the new information I didn’t know. The chapter on teaching haiku was especially great, since I’ve taught it, but by a different method. And, Charlotte Digregorio’s haiku often evoke a chuckle of wry recognition or stop you dead in your tracks from awe. She seems well acquainted with the quotidian’s variety of her days, from homeless folk, to nature’s evocation and to loss and sorrow.

 

-–Donna BauerlyProfessor Emeritus, Loras College

 

 

An energetic and comprehensive guide by a prolific writer and educator with insightful perspectives and a generous sampling of published haiku and senryu. This practical guide is delivered in a relaxed, conversational tone so that the lessons and examples are informative and easily accessible. Extensive appendices and bibliography.

 

Frogpond, Journal of the Haiku Society of America

 

 

This book will hook the beginning reader and leave them wanting more. The book demystifies the genre. It offers haiku that are accessible and doable. The “Getting Published” section offers some good tips on submitting to and building a relationship with editors. The large reference section with bibliography of educational books, anthologies, collections, journals, and websites will be of great value to beginning readers.

 

–Paul Miller, Editor of Modern Haiku

 

 

I honor the work Charlotte Digregorio has done on behalf of English-language haiku in Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All. She has a gift for writing clearly, concentrating on what matters beyond passing controversy. As for her own fresh and gritty poems, Digregorio has the courage to face the truth about love, loss, aging, birth/death and the upside down nature of lifethe full catastrophe. Expect to be challenged and invigorated.

 

–Dr. Robert Epstein, Psychologist

Author, Checkout Time is Noon: Death Awareness Haiku

 

 

A couple of the many sterling qualities of Charlotte Digregorio’s haiku include perceptive observance of natural phenomena and penetrating insights into human nature, frequently with a delightful, wry humor in the latter category, along with deep compassion in others.

 

Robert Spiess, Former Editor of Modern Haiku

 

 

 

Anyone can benefit from this book’s simple, clear advice. Digregorio offers time-tested, yet fresh and flexible pedagogy–actual lesson plans for those who wish to teach haiku. Intermediate and advanced practitioners will benefit from reminders of simple concepts long forgotten or never learned. We are given new ways to think about the poetry we read.

 

Speed Bump Journal

 

 

Offers excellent advice on haiku writing It is a great book and has helped many of us in our haiku journey, and doubtless will for many years to come.

 

Andy McLellan, UK Poet and Author, birth/stones: Selected Haiku and Haibun

 

 

BOOK  #2 – Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing

 

Everyone needs healing. Writing poems about your hardships and struggles often helps to alleviate life’s pain and hurts.

 

“Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing” will inspire you to put your thoughts on paper and write expressive long and short poetry including free verse, sonnets, and the Japanese forms, to name just a few.

 

A signed copy of this book is available directly from me, for $19.95 plus $4 shipping and handling.(USA customers).  Canadians, please inquire about a discount.

 

As a bonus, I’ll provide an edit or revision of a poem of any form to appear on this blog. 

You may contact me directly at c-books@hotmail.com with questions and for ordering information. RipplesCover020120.indd

 

Below are some of the best reviews of “Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing.”

 

“Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing,” a reference book, will inspire you to write many forms of poetry. The book contains poems such as cinquain, etheree, acrostic, sonnet, free verse, limerick, and the Japanese forms of tanka, haibun, haiku and senryu sequences, among others.

 

Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing (236 pages) 

 

Benjamin Franklin Awards (2021): Independent Book Publishers Association

 

 Comments from Judge #1:

 

Life in all its aspects flows through Charlotte Digregorio’s buoyant poetry collection. For its healing and inspirational qualities, this is a book to keep and reread frequently. It inspires enhanced living and writing. Excellent!

 

 Comments from Judge #2

 

This book is a very easy and pleasurable read.  I read every poem with delight in about six days. (236 pages). There are lines in the poetry that if they were fireworks would light up the night sky. This book is that good. The introduction is a marvelous bit of writing, explaining the author’s view on poetry, and about the title’s meaning. All through the book, when each new section is about to unfold, there is a prose explanation of what one is about to encounter. These preludes to the sections are one of the best features of the book.

 

Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing comes in a year when healing is in even greater demand than usual. In this book, we not only get a well-written poetry collection that promotes healing, but a how-to guide for writing poetry that aids healing. As I read it, I often paused to implement Digregorio’s suggestions, jotting down poems of my own, and filled several pages. The author is particularly well known as an authority on the Japanese forms of haiku and senryu, and many of the poems in this book follow them. Others are in free verse and a dozen other forms. The collection is structured into sections containing poems about various subjects you can consider writing about. Each section is introduced by a page of prose that includes the author’s sage comments on why the subject is relevant and how the poems influence healing. The poems and writing advice are clear, accessible, and beautifully lyrical. Her point is: look, you can do this.  I highly recommend this book.

 

–Richard Allen Taylor, Author of Armed and Luminous

Book Reviewer,  The Main Street Rag

 

 

I highly, highly recommend this book! I read a lot of how-to-write poetry books, but this is unique because it shows would-be poets like me the “why” of writing poems. For those who want to write the best poetry we are capable of, this collection encourages us to look for and create beauty, strength, and healing. Many times during the reading of this book, I put it down and wrote a few lines of my own. I read several of Digregorio’s poems out loud, luxuriating in the evocative language and the emotional effect it had on me. Her haiku is particularly inspiring and she is a master at it.  I love this book. It’s not just a collection of poems, but thoughtful essays about how poetry can heal. There are a lot of lines I would like to quote (or pretend I came up with).  I love the imagery.

 

–Robin Stratton, Editor, Boston Literary Magazine

  

This book is different from any poetry book I have reviewed before. We need this book! Who among us has not needed healing? Who among us has not spent time in the cave of despair? Who among us has not needed an outlet for anger or loss? This is great poetry, mature craftsmanship, written in an accessible style for all to savor. It’s easy to apply these poems to daily life. A professional observer, Digregorio sees and feels everything more deeply. She reveals her sensitivity to the human condition. The volume contains something for everyone: from compact oriental forms, to superbly-crafted sonnets, to the little known etheree, to fun forms such as acrostics and limericks, free verse and more.

 

Exhaustive Appendices: More than a collection of poetry, the author offers practical, hands-on support for beginning and experienced writers.  As poets, we also need to promote and sell our poetry, our books, and the author helps get us off the sidelines and into the promotional game. Treasures to be unearthed include multiple lists of publications that publish poetry; ideas for general print/broadcast media that feature poets; and ideas on types of associations, organizations, and businesses that promote poets through awards, interviews, readings, speaking venues, workshops engagements, and exhibitions of their work. This book has given me a real education.

 

–Michael Escoubas, Editor, Quill and Parchment

 

 

Digregorio’s poetry is healing, gets you through tough times, and saves lives. This book is one answer to the Coronavirus. In spending time reading it, we find an encouraging and peaceful way to live. Nuanced by childhood memories of oceans and jagged monoliths, of black bear and elk, she shares through reflection and meditation, poems with a spaciousness that speak of acceptance and gratitude for what is. She is like the sculptor in one of her poems, “creating equilibrium and harmony.” She reaches out and invites the reader to join her in solitude, share thoughts, and observations. Ultimately, there is a sense of community, of knowing we aren’t alone. There’s an exuberance of life here that cannot help but touch you. It is a book you can go back to time and time again.

 

–Mary Jo Balistreri, Poet and Author, Still

 

 

Fascinating tome–the perfect fit for this time in history. Soothing and peaceful. The author balances different poetic forms that contribute to a melodic, musical timbre. I marked many pages as my favorite poems–far too many to list here. Gorgeous words describing the natural world and her insightful memories in the “Nostalgia” section. Her poems wend their way through the maze of life events and experiences, healing in their warm, lyrical beauty.

 

–The Rockford Review, Sally Hewitt, Editor

 

 

The bumper sticker on my car reads: “Nature: Cheaper than Therapy.” As an adjunct to nature’s treatment plan, I would prescribe Charlotte Digregorio’s  Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing. Her imagistic poems wind through diverse relational and emotional terrain, and never lose touch with the natural healing qualities of acceptance, wonder, gratitude, and harmony.

 

–Mike Stinson, Psychotherapist, Poet & Author, extra innings

 

  

What a treasure and a wonder from a mightily accomplished author. I always turn to this book with anticipation and peace in my heart, looking forward to the author’s life insights. A ponderous book. I am giving it the daily reading that the inspiring poems call out for, a page or two a day with meditative thought for the author’s many layered gifts of creativity. I love the titles of the multi-themed chapters. I am delving into this clear pond of healing, the book’s healing messages.

 

–Donna Bauerly, Professor Emeritus, Loras College

 

 

An affecting collection. Charlotte Digregorio finds lyricism in solitude, finds reason to celebrate and transform into art the trifles in our gritty lives. These are poems of great skill, poems with a generous heart by a writer who cherishes the luminous particulars of every moment.

 

–Marsh Muirhead, Poet and Author of last night of the carnival

 

 

 

Award-winning poet Charlotte Digregorio offers readers an array of poems that delve deeply into the external, her Midwest surroundings, and the internal, the nature of her creativity. Digregorio’s delectable collection is one to be savored again and again.

 

–Roberta Beary, Poet and Author of The Unworn Necklace

 

 

The poems of Charlotte Digregorio possess a clarity of vision one seldom finds in contemporary verse. The images she creates are vibrant and alive. We Baby Boomers identify with her all too well.

 

–John J. Dunphy, Poet and Author of Touching Each Tree

 

 

We are blessed with this work! This is a comforting, much appreciated companion in these difficult times. The book responds to so many of the themes and issues that are central to my life experience. It sustains, and I am thankful.  I hope this book makes its way to many people in these sad times. It provides shade from the glare of events.

 

–David Eyre, Educator and Author, the nothing that is

 

 

Charlotte Digregorio has the all-too-uncommon ability to put the reader in the poet’s place. One does not read, so much as experience her poems. Closing my eyes, many of these poems could have been memories from my own past. These very personal poems become personal to the reader. The poet uses words as her brush, and all senses are stimulated.

 

–Ignatius Fay, Poet and Co-Author of Breccia

 

 

This is a self-help book that is the pathway to finding peace. The author’s healing poems speak to us and are especially timely during the Covid crisis.

 

–Winnetka-Kenilworth Living magazine (Illinois)

 

 

This elegantly designed book offers readers an eclectic mix of poetry styles to suit any and every mood. Here, you may find your senses soothed, or stimulated by the natural world. There, you might find yourself immersed in memories, or daydreams about the future. This writer has walked in our shoes, and her words entice us to take the first steps along the poetic path to healing.

 

–Debbie Strange, Canadian Poet and Author of The Language of Loss

 

 

  

Charlotte Digregorio is a much-published and much-honored poet. The approaches to writing she shares in this collection prove useful for those who seek inspiration and for those who give writing workshops.

 

–Maxianne Berger, Book Review Coordinator, Haiku Canada Review

 

 

 

Posted in Author, Books, Charlotte Digregorio, Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All, Poetry, Publishing, Ripples of Air: Poems of Healing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 10, 2022

one of the wolves
shows its face
firelight
by Chad Lee Robinson (USA)
South by Southeast, 19:3, 2012
Posted in Chad Lee Robinson, creative writers, creatures, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems, wildlife | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 9, 2022

each dawninhalingthe Mississippi

by Donna Bauerly (USA)

Mann Library’s Daily Haiku, April 16, 2022

Posted in Daily Haiku, Donna Bauerly, Haiku, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 14 Comments

Daily Haiku Special: Lenard D. Moore, Sept. 8, 2022

open grave —

the autumn moon moves

across the shovel

 

by Lenard D. Moore (USA)

Haiku of the Day

The Haiku Foundation, July 3, 2022

 

 

home from a trip

the dark sky’s passage

of trumpeting geese

by Lenard D. Moore (USA)

Frogpond

 

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Lenard D. Moore, Nature | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 7, 2022

snowy day … only color in the landscape a stop sign 
    
 
by Nancy Brady (USA)
tsuri-doro, #8, March/April 2022
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Nancy Brady, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 17 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 6, 2022

spring morning
last year’s new neighbor
introduces himself
 
 
by Kate MacQueen (USA)
The Heron’s Nest, Issue 8, 2006
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Kate MacQueen, people, Poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Last Chance to Respond!

Charlotte Digregorio is doing a survey for this blog. She invites interested readers to respond to this question:

What is one word that you think best describes senryu? 

Obviously, there are several words, but just select one. Try to be original and not use the same word you would use to describe haiku.

With your response, include your name and the name of the country you live in. These will be posted on the blog.

Please respond to Charlotte by Sept. 10 at her email address only: c-books@hotmail.com

Do NOT post your response here. If you do, it will be deleted.

The survey will appear on this blog Sept. 11.

Thanks to those who participate!

Posted in Japanese-style poetry, Poets, Senryu, senryuists, Survey | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Sept. 5, 2022

meteor shower—

the secrets I kept

from you

 
by Mona Bedi (India)
Honorable Mention, Best of Issue
Autumn Moon Haiku Journal, 2022 
Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, India, Mona Bedi, Relationships, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 4, 2022

a robin’s trill
I never learned
to whistle
 
 
by Harriot West (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 45:2, Spring/Summer 2022
Posted in birds, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Harriot West, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku Special: Zaidee Pisani-Lysenko

Zaidee Pisani-Lysenko (Australia), 11 years old

outdoor cafe

the ibis steals a pancake

off my plate

Failed Haiku, Vol. 6, #65, April 2021

dark feather
why can’t you
fly

Creatrix, #50, September 2020

savannah rain 

animals scatter 

across the plain

The Mamba, September 2020

Posted in Australia, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems, students, Zaidee Pisani-Lysenko | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 3, 2022

day moon

out of the subway entrance

a saxophone solo

by Olivier Schopfer (Switzerland)

Honorable Mention

Robert Spiess Memorial Haiku Award Competition, 2017

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Olivier Schopfer, Poets, Short Poems, Switzerland | Tagged , , , , | 11 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 2, 2022

letting sand fall
from my hand
countless suns
 
 
by Michael McClintock (USA), Author
Letters in Time: Sixty Short Poems, 2005
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Michael McClintock, Short Poems, time | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Honored to be Interviewed by Quill and Parchment!

Dear Readers and Followers,

I am deeply honored to be interviewed in the September issue of Quill and Parchment journal.

Please check out this publication, when you have some time to read all of its wonderful poetry and book reviews, and view the art. You will be inspired to write and learn from its talented writers.

http://quillandparchment.com/archives/Sept2022/vol255.html

Wishing you publishing success,

Charlotte Digregorio

Posted in Author, Charlotte Digregorio, Interview, Poetry, Publishing, Writing | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Sept. 1, 2022

centuries of whispers a cathedral beam cracks
 
 
 
by Eve Luckring (USA), Author
The Tender Between, 2018
Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Eve Luckring, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 31, 2022

still in the books from the library someone’s cologne

by Susan Burch (USA)

The Indian Kukai, #3, January 2014

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Short Poems, Susan Burch | Tagged , , , | 8 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 30, 2022

window spider –
the comfort
of your silence
 
 
by Beverley George (Australia)
Presence, Issue 33, 2007
Posted in Australia, Beverley George, Daily Haiku, Haiku, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Aug. 29, 2022

bird by bird
the toddler kisses
her storybook
 
by Carol Raisfeld (USA)
Frogpond, Vol. 44:3, Autumn 2021
Posted in Carol Raisfeld, children, creative writing, creatures, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Poets, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

See Your Name in Print on a Survey!

Charlotte Digregorio is doing a survey for this blog. She invites interested readers to respond to this question:

What is one word that you think best describes senryu? 

Obviously, there are several words, but just select one. Try to be original and not use the same word you would use to describe haiku.

With your response, include your name and the name of the country you live in. These will be posted on the blog.

Please respond to Charlotte by Sept. 10 at her email address only: c-books@hotmail.com

Do NOT post your response here. If you do, it will be deleted.

The survey will appear on this blog Sept. 11.

Thanks to those who participate!

Posted in Poets, Senryu, Survey | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Daily Haiku: Aug. 28, 2022

puzzle piecesmissing the waywe fit together

by Debbie Strange (Canada)

Prune Juice, #15, March 2015

Posted in Daily Haiku, Debbie Strange, Haiku, Relationships, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 27, 2022

riverbank
my mother’s waiting for me
on the other side
 
by Eufemia Griffo (Italy)
Posted in Eufemia Griffo, Italy, Japanese-style poetry, memories, Mothers, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 26, 2022

it’s been a year
her sweater on the chair 
still
 
 
by Neal Whitman (USA)
The Temple Bell Stops, 2012
Posted in Daily Haiku, death, Haiku, Neal Whitman, Senryu, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 25, 2022

one limb at a time

the falcon calls her fledglings

nearer to flight

by an’ya (USA)

The Heron’s Nest, 1.2, 1999

Posted in an'ya, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , | 18 Comments

Free Workshop Invitation to Readers & Followers of This Blog!

Dear Readers and Followers,

I belong to the Rockford Writers’ Guild in Rockford, IL (USA). Thanks to the generosity of the organization’s President, Sally Hewitt,  the readers/followers of this blog may join a  haiku/senryu workshop that I’m leading for the RWG, even if you’re not a member. (Maximum of 16 participants total, so don’t delay in registering. First come, first served.)

Rockford Writer’s Guild is an organization of international writers, and it’s been a fun and educational organization for me to be a part of for the past several years.

Please read the details about the workshop below:

Capture the Moments of Your Life by Writing Haiku & Senryu
     Haiku and senryu are among the most misunderstood poetic forms by not only the public, but by accomplished poets of other forms. (Haiku focuses on nature, but senryu, written in the haiku form, focuses on human nature and people’s weaknesses/struggles.) This comprehensive Zoom workshop on how to write and publish these enjoyable and healing poems will be offered Sunday, Oct. 2, 1 to 3 p.m. (Chicago USA Time), led by RWG Member Charlotte Digregorio. She’s the author of “Haiku and Senryu: A Simple Guide for All,” the book that is praised as having launched thousands of  haiku/senryu poets and teachers to success.
     We will debunk the misconceptions of these forms, that originated centuries ago in Japan, and which are now written in dozens of languages worldwide. You will learn about traditional vs. modern haiku/senryu. This workshop will include a short writing exercise, and time will be provided for those who choose to read their poem.
     Please note: Charlotte gives haiku/senryu workshops each month for writer’s groups, but each is different with fresh material including new samples of poems to analyze and discuss. Charlotte served as an executive officer of the Haiku Society of America for several years, and is a keynote speaker on haiku throughout the U.S. She runs “The Daily Haiku,” written by global poets, on her blog, www.charlottedigregorio.wordpress.com.
     Just in case you’re curious, this is RWG’s website, https://www.rockfordwritersguild.org
     To Register for this RWG-sponsored event:
     Please join me and the RWG for this free workshop by emailing me with your name, country you live in, and your email address. I will have the RWG send you a link a day or two in advance. Registration deadline is Sept. 28 for blog readers. My email address:  c-books@hotmail.com.  This workshop is limited to 16 participants.
     I look forward to seeing you!
Charlotte
Posted in Author, Charlotte Digregorio, Haiku Workshops, Poetry, senryu workshop, Workshop | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 24, 2022

in the heat

the way fir trees

bear the sun

by Tom Clausen (USA)

bottle rockets, #31, 2014

Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, nature, Short Poems, Tom Clausen | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 23, 2022

camping alone one star then many
by Jim Kacian (USA)
 
Frogpond, 29:2, 2006
Posted in Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poetry, Jim Kacian, nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 22, 2022

summer stars

the trumpet glinting

from its case

by Lenard D. Moore (USA)

The Heron’s Nest, 5:1, 2003

 

Posted in creative writers, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Japanese-style poems, Lenard D. Moore, Musicians, Short Poems, summer | Tagged , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 21, 2022

after her perm
my gran asks
if I still love cotton candy
 
 
by Lew Watts (USA)
bottle rockets, #31, 2014
Posted in Daily Haiku, Grandparents, Haiku, Humor, Lew Watts, micro-poetry, Senryu | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Special Essay on Haiku by Robert Epstein

Beyond the Subjective in Haiku

by Robert Epstein, Haiku Author & Psychologist

 

I would readily acknowledge that writing haiku is a means of self-expression, yet this isn’t synonymous with the subjective. The primary motivation isn’t fundamentally ego-based; that is, I’m not primarily interested in my personal experience, odd as this may sound to contemporary readers. I write haiku to see beyond my subjective vantage point. While I may begin with the subjective, I seek the universal.

 

The subjective is little more than the springboard for stumbling onto revelations of truth in nature that stimulate self-transcendence. For the same reason, I read haiku to discover the universal. If I were only interested in the subjective, I would have lost interest in reading/writing haiku decades ago.

 

If, for example, I have the misfortune of walking under a balcony when a flower pot is accidentally knocked over and it splits my head open, this painful objective reality isn’t a personal narrative that I can construct in the nanosecond before I lapse into unconsciousness. There’s nothing subjective here, because there is an objective reality that exists independent of my subjective experience.

 

Like the flower pot, I, as the author of a haiku, exist independently of the reader, though spiritually speaking we’re related. The poem I’ve written has something I wish to communicate. However, in a skillfully written poem, it will leave room for readers to enter into it and discover their own layers of meaning.

 

If I wish to shake off all the theorizing and conceptualizing that dazzles or befuddles the ego, I go back to the source, that is, Basho, the father of haiku.

 

old pond ––
a frog jumps in
the sound of water

 

Bashoʼs subjective self gets out of the way for this timeless poem. If ever the universal has shone through in a haiku poem, this is it. I could have chosen any of Bashoʼs poems to illustrate the universal, not the subjective, because this is the very heart of Bashoʼs way of haiku. Letʼs remember what Basho writes explicitly for future generations (2):

 

Go to the pine if you want to learn about the pine, or to the bamboo if you
want to learn about the bamboo. And in doing so, you must leave your subjective preoccupation with yourself. Otherwise, you impose yourself on the object and do not learn. Your poetry issues of its own accord when you and the object have become one or when you have plunged deep into the object to see something like a hidden glimmering. However well-phrased your poetry is, if your feeling isn’t natural – if the object and yourself are separate – then your poetry isn’t poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit.

 

Are haiku to be written and judged subjectively, as Mike Spikes insists in his essay in Frogpond (45:2, Summer 2022)? More than a few unwitting readers and writers will almost certainly respond with a resounding or unqualified “yes.” I fear that such a response reflects just how much the skin-encapsulated ego––Alan Wattsʼs phrase–– via postmodern political activism has come to dominate not only many individual psyches, but a notable segment of society. (1). This over-emphasis on the subjective distresses me.

 

I lament Professor Spikesʼs scholarly view to anchor haiku in the subjective which is the very antithesis of what Basho taught nearly four hundred years ago.

 

Spikesʼs foray into the work of David Bleich, Subjective Criticism (1978) leaves me unconvinced – and not just because he omitted any critical reviews of this literary theory that would help unwitting readers evaluate for themselves its limitations as applied to haiku. After all, a theory is not a fact, and not even literary.

 

As for the shattered flower pot and my head wound, Spikes appears to overlook this detail: the real, as in the natural world, which is the essence of haiku.

 

“Learn from the pine about the pine.” Basho didn’t say, as Spikes seems to be saying: “Learn from your sense of your subjective self, and create a poetic narrative from that place, calling it a haiku.”

 

Because Basho was passionate and sincere, I take his advice seriously and go directly to the pine. In my following haiku, originally published in moonset, 6:1, 2010, this is what I discover:

 

in pine shade
for a while I forget this life will end

 

Is there a personal element to what I realize? Yes. Is that all there is? To the contrary, I encounter the sacred truth of Buddhaʼs core teaching that everything is impermanent. None of us live forever. While we long for immortality, it doesn’t exist except, perhaps, in the Eternal Now. Does the reader have any intimacy with this? The personal meets the universal in this very moment; the subjective melts into the Whole beyond thought, image, and ideal.

 

I dare say that Basho understood the depth of this, which is why he could give such eloquent expression to the ineffable. The ineffable is at the very heart of haiku and the focus of enduring––as opposed to flash-in-the-pan poetry.

 

Have haiku poetics veered so far away from nature and the universal that some enshrine the subjective in their place? If so, this is sad for haiku readers. I want no part of this subjective overhaul, nor do I believe most poets or readers do.

 

I don’t propose, though, that the subjective should be ignored, suppressed or extinguished. This would be misguided.

 

However, based on how much Spikes emphasizes the subjective in his haiku poetics, I infer that he’s unfamiliar with the field of transpersonal psychology. (3). Transpersonal psychology has been recognized for about fifty years and has made significant contributions to the understanding of Mind and consciousness.

 

Although an extended discussion of transpersonal psychology is beyond the scope of this brief essay, it draws significantly from Buddhism, since the latter reflects a  sophisticated understanding of consciousness. Categories like subjective and objective reflect a superficial understanding of the nature of consciousness.

 

Transpersonal psychology––as evidenced in the decades-long work of Ken Wilbur, Roger Walsh, Frances Vaughan, and John Welwood, among others–– studies states of mind that see beyond personal distinctions to the no-boundary or Unity consciousness (oneness). As Wilber observes in an excerpt from The Spectrum of Consciousness, that appears in Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Dimensions of Psychology (1980):

 

. . . [the subjectively-oriented individual] is identified with his ego, his self-image. His total organism is split into a disembodied “psyche,” the ghost in the machine, and a “soma,” “poor brother ass”––a fact which he betrays by saying not “I am a body,” but “I have a body.” He feels that he exists in his body and not as a body. This level [of ego-consciousness] is identified almost exclusively with a mental picture of manʼs total psychophysical organism, and therefore his intellectual and symbolical processes predominate. (77)

 

Welwood, an important figure in the development of transpersonal psychology, remarks in an essay that appears in The Meeting of the Ways: East/West Explorations in Psychology:

 

This overemphasizing and solidification of thoughts to the exclusion of
the open spaces within the mind-environment leads to a personal identification with the thought process. The troublesome equation, I = my thoughts about reality, can lead to a narrowed “self-sense” and as anxiety that is connected with defending these thoughts as oneʼs territory. The familiar tendency is to assume that one is the originator and possessor of oneʼs thoughts, rather than seeing them as ephemeral phenomena in the larger environment of Mind. (33)

 

In contrast, the level of Mind or no-boundary as embodied in Bashoʼs enlightened haiku poetry, transcends notions of self and other, objective and subjective. Wilber continues:

 

The perennial psychology declares all dualism to be not so much unreal as illusory. . . . Cutting the world into seer and seen, only apparently and not actually divides the world, for the world always remains indistinct from itself. Dualism, in other words, is illusory: it appears to exist but remains devoid of reality. . . (78)

 

That is, Big Mind (as opposed to small mind) is the latter quality of consciousness that Zen Buddhists dating back centuries have dedicated themselves to. Basho, through his own studies of Zen, absorbed the transpersonal or no-boundary level of consciousness, that informs his haiku.

 

To revert  to a previous level of consciousness as Spikes and others advocate, strikes me as misguided regression. It would be akin to humans reverting to the limited language of toddlers, poetically-speaking.

 

Drawing from Yoel Hoffmannʼs anthology, Japanese Death Poems (1986), I’d like to quote a moon-inspired poem by Masahide, a contemporary of Basho, who praised it:

 

Now that my storehouse has burned down, nothing conceals the moon

 

Only a poet as visionary as Masahide could write a poem as transcendent as this. Is the heart of his insight subjective? I think not. In the face of great adversity, Masahide realized a moment of enlightenment (which the moon in Buddhism embodies) and he shared this satori with the world. The poem itself, holding the infinite wisdom of emptiness and non-attachment, is an enduring act of compassion. I stand in awe of this extraordinary poem and never tire of rereading it.

 

No amount of theorizing about the centrality of the subjective will bring a poet or reader to the realization of impermanence, a vital and sacred truth. A nature-based or reality- based poem, however, has this potential. I protest the conceptual acrobatics that would undo centuries of insight and revelation for the self-inflation—indeed, narcissism—that some critics darken the well with.

 

Haiku is a distinctive form of poetry precisely because Basho and others rooted their haiku in the understanding of the transience of life and death, a key manifestation of objective reality. They infused this understanding with aesthetic qualities of wabi, sabi, mono no aware, yugen, and karumi. These qualities have given their poetry freshness and vitality. Truth is far more compelling than that which is subjective.

 

Donʼt settle for what is novel or catchy in the fleeting moment. Take flight with those insights that circle above the fading corridors of time. You will find them in nature, not in the realm of conceptual thought or artifice. The finest haiku are visionary and far-reaching, even if their subject matter superficially appears to be ordinary or mundane.

 

Eric W. Amann, writing in The Wordless Poem (1969), minces no words when he observes:

 

“In haiku, leave things just as they are” – in other words, keep your rationalizing, moralizing mind out of the poem, do not clutter up the poem with your own thoughts, feelings and explanations, but show all things in their uniqueness, their own particular state of being, their ʻsuchness’. (16)

 

Key to the literary theory of Bleich, that Spikes is of the notion of, is resymbolization, an abstruse one that’s contrary to haiku prior to the gendai movement. Of symbolism in haiku, Amann unequivocally states:

 

This attempt to extract some symbolic significance from haiku is a typically Western effort to find the abstract meaning behind the concrete, to discover the spiritual hiding in the physical. As we have already seen, however, this is quite foreign to the haiku poets themselves. As Shiki has said of Bashoʼs [old pond] poem: “The meaning is just what it says, it has no other, no special meaning.” (17)

 

I’ll conclude with a poignant, contemporary poem by Poet Debbi Antebi that appears in The Heronʼs Nest, 20, 2018. It has all the markings of a subjective poem but, in actuality, it’s true to Bashoʼs haiku spirit, being grounded in nature without conceptual acrobatics or resymbolization. It allows the subjective to merge with the universal:

 

learning to eat around bruises winter apples

 

Beyond theory, thought, and symbolism, may we all learn to write haiku with joy, love, and compassion around the bruised apples of this fleeting world of life and death.

 

Notes

  1. It’s worth noting that, around the same time that Bleich was publishing his work that placed the subjective at the center of literary theory, cultural historian, Christopher Lasch, published his incisive critique of narcissism, which has only increased exponentially in the decades since the bookʼs publication. See The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in the Age of Diminishing Expectations (1979).
  2. Quoted in: https://blogs.harvard.edu/sulaymanibnqiddees/2015/02/28/basho-on-poetry/.
  3. For those interested in learning more about transpersonal psychology, see: K. Wilbur, No-Boundary; R. Walsh and F. Vaughan, ed., Beyond Ego: Transpersonal Dimensions of Psychology; and F. Vaughan, The Inward Arc; and J. Welwood, Toward a Psychology of Awakening.

 

 

Posted in Basho, essay, Haiku, psychology, Robert Epstein, Writing Haiku | Tagged , , , , | 22 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 20, 2022

loon callsmy daughter drawing circlesnear the fire

by Majorie Buettner (USA)

First Place, Harold G.  Henderson Haiku Award, 2002

Posted in birds, Daily Haiku, Haiku, Marjorie Buettner, Nature, Short Poems | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Daily Haiku: Aug. 19, 2022

homecoming
the hearse exits
the interstate
by Tom Painting (USA)
Frogpond, Vol 44:3, Autumn 2021
Posted in burial, Daily Haiku, death, funeral, Haiku, Life, Tom Painting | Tagged , , , , | 4 Comments