New on the Essays page is “Politics and the English-Language Haiku: Learning from George Orwell,” one of my series of “learning from” essays, recently published in Schuylkill Valley Journal. It explores Orwell’s famous essay on writing, applying what it has to say to haiku. I’ve also added a photo to the Trifolds page, new links to the Links page, and various updates to the Appearances and Books pages.
It’s been a while since I added anything to my Reports page. Check out the 2016 Ferndale Cherry Blossom Festival Haiku Contest Winners, complete with my commentary. This was a small contest I judged in the spring of 2016. Congratulations to the winners.
In a few random moments lately, I’ve added the following:
A few miscellaneous updates to this website are the addition of a recently published poem on the Tinywords page (available through Haiku and Senryu), new details and events on the Links and Appearances pages, and the addition of a link on the Books page to my various book listings on the WorldCat website (a lot more there than I would have guessed). And for good measure, I’ve added “Haiku Degree” by Marlene Mountain to the Poems About Haiku page, where I’ve also added a link to Marlene’s “Haiku on Haiku.”
More than once I’ve heard haiku neophytes defend their counting of syllables in haiku because they say they like the “discipline.” What they don’t realize is that Japanese haiku don’t count syllables at all, but something different. Furthermore, the superficial discipline of syllable counting obscures far more challenging and more important disciplines for the haiku art. Read about “The Discipline of Haiku,” newly added to the Essays page. This essay appeared in Schuylkill Valley Journal in March of 2016.
Well, okay, it’s an old essay, but it’s newly added to the Essays page. “Punctuation in Haiku” was originally developed for a workshop I presented at the 1993 Haiku North America conference (I think!), and adapted into a greatly shortened essay that appeared in Geppo in 1997. I’ve just added that essay, along with an extensive new postscript that comments on the poem selections. While I’d be more stringent on the poems I’d choose now than I was then, I hope the essay remains useful for its classification of various sorts of punctuation, and how the example poems illustrate each category.
“Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Haiku and Senryu But Were Too Busy Writing to Ask” has just been posted to the Essays page. This short essay recently appeared in Prune Juice, and seeks to untangle some of the confusion between haiku and senryu. The difference is either really simple, or really complicated, but some of us aren’t sure which.
An essay I’ve just added to the Essays page is “Unfolding Destiny: Harold G. Henderson’s The Bamboo Broom.” This essay recently appeared in the Haiku Foundation journal Juxta, and assesses Henderson’s 1934 book, asserting that much of its content is still relevant today, even if the translations (with their rhyme, titles, and convoluted syntax) are severely dated. Read this essay to see the amazing information about haiku that Henderson first made available in English through this groundbreaking early book.