Haiku Afficianadoes

The Second Annual Basho Haiku Challenge Chapbook

Within a link to five marvelous haiku.  The form is alive and well, it is good to say.  Much different than the original, as it should be if a form is to remain relevant--retaining all of the externals of compression and intense imagery, but varying the syllable count and other items as befits transition to another language and to another time. 

What is most interesting to me about haiku is the way they are like potato chips or m&ms.  That is, they invite gulping down by the handfuls, but they truly reward a meditative and lingering consideration.  It's amazing the way so few syllables can unpack.


  1. When I get a new collection of haiku, I usually race through it, looking for those that grab me immediately. Then I go back and do one a day at most.

  2. Dear Fred,

    This sounds like an excellent approach. I somehow doubt I could manage it. Although with greater reading discipline, I suppose it could be possible. Thank you for suggesting it (even though it wasn't really a suggestion--just a note as to your own practice.)



  3. Steven,


    Well, it sounds a lot more disciplined than it really is. I do read the collection through rather quickly when I first get it and then place it on the table by my reading chair. At odd moments then, I slowly work my way through it.

    I have the complete collection of Basho's haiku now. I raced through it within a week and now I'm slowly working my way through it at a more leisurely place.

    I also grab my other collections with Basho's haiku and do a stare and compare. I have my favorite translations, of course, but it's fascinating to see the differences--due to a great extent, I suspect, to differences in the translators.


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