Heartfelt Thanks to all of the visitors who have found their way to the site, and to all my teachers(all of you), those who supported my efforts, and the many who allowed their work to be displayed here, and of course, my wife Paula for reminding me what time it was in the wee hours of the morning.
Butterfly! These words from my brush are not flowers... only their shadows. Soseki*
The haiku that you find on the following pages have been written over many years. Though I have attempted to capture the essence of a moment, some schools of haiku would say that many of my haiku fly in the face of their most dearly held tenets because I occasionally use metaphor, and on occasion, anthropomorphism.(assigning human characteristics to non-human or inanimate objects). I started learning haiku, however, before attending any of the "schools". Most schools agree that maintaining the classic Japanese haiku form in English can be very restrictive and difficult, or leads to padding, excessive verbiage, when using the seventeen syllable, 5-7-5 format found in the works of haiku masters such as Issa, Basho and Buson.
My love of haiku, and the way I write it was fostered by the works of those talented masters as translated by Peter Beilenson, who rendered translations of their poetry and collected it in three volumes; Japanese Haiku, The Four Seasons, and Cherry Blossoms. Peter began, and Harry Behn completed the fourth volume in the series, Haiku Harvest, because Mr. Beilenson journeyed to the "other side". Each of the poems capture a moment with the deft strokes of the artist's words. The four works were published byPeter Pauper Press.
So, without attempting to promote any particular school here, I offer you my own attempts at haiku. My haiku style has changed over the many years I have been writing and studying it. I hope you'll find something you like on these pages that would make you as intrigued with the art of haiku as I am
a dozen butterflies
sip the nectar
from across the sea,
mating calls of cicadas
and a lone frog
*This haiku, by Soseki, is from the Peter Pauper Press volumes mentioned above.
He's smiling because he knows about Open Mind Center