— X.J. Kennedy
— William Carlos Williams
Poetry repairs. Lines cracked with the strain
of too much meaning, brittle with age.
New words, brightly-colored ideas, cutting away decay,
fresh-cut stanzas smelling of the pine air
over my head. A sky full of stars.
I can stare at waves for a long time without being bored.
Surfers study waves – not like scientists – but they study them for sure. I don’t study them. I let them hypnotize me. Or maybe it’s a form of meditation.
Years ago, when I went for a weekend sesshinat a Zen monastery, my wife asked what it was that I was supposed to learn…
you thought that the I was me,
that you was you, we was us,
then was now, the home was ours.
If you assume that the poem’s future
is our present, there is no future.
I loved her, and sometimes she loved me too."
The Essential Neruda: Selected Poems
Today is the birthday of this Chilean poet, born July 12, 1904 as Neftali Ricardo Reyes Basoalto. He chose his pen name after the Czech poet Jan Neruda. In 1971, Neruda won the Nobel Prize for Literature.
It is a good exercise to get “meta” about your writing once in awhile and think about what you write and why. Treat yourself as an assignment from that poetry class and look at the themes that run through your poems, the language etc. (I didn’t realize how many…
Two poems by dogs, channeled by Billy Collins
Prolific poet, essayist, and historian Czesław Miłosz (born June 30, 1911) was also a diplomat, who served as Poland’s cultural attaché to France and the United States.
Insomnia can sometimes be the tenth muse,
but not after this day working outside.
Muscle ache and sweat makes cold water
taste better than anything mixed or brewed,
and turns off the mind to poems.
He wants you to pause and think about it.
Basho considered a Kikaku haiku as cruel:
A red firefly / tear off its wings -
a pepper. A pepper / give it wings –
a red firefly, was Basho’s simple change.
Revision as a Buddhist act of kindness.
A summer river being crossed
with sandals in my hands!
Evening breeze -
water is slapping against the legs
of a blue heron.
Short summer night.
On the back of a hairy caterpillar
In the summer rain
4 haiku by Yosa Buson (1716 ~ 1783)
if my father were here–
over green fields
Today is the birthday of Japanese poet Kobayashi Issa, born in Kashiwabara, Japan in 1763. He was a lay Buddhist priest of the Jōdo Shinshū sect known for his haiku poems and journals. He is better known as simply Issa (一茶?), a pen name meaning Cup-of-tea (lit. “one [cup of] tea”).
He is regarded as one of the four haiku masters in Japan,…