Missing a Kick…

Missing a kick

at the icebox door

It closed anyway.

-Jack Kerouac

My first introduction to haiku was through Jack Kerouac. As an avid reader of his work, I found my way at some point years ago to his Scattered Poems. Within that collection, his haiku appeared. From there, I began to explore and appreciate haiku.

Jack Kerouac explained Haiku this way, “The ‘Haiku’ was invented and developed over hundreds of years in Japan to be a complete poem in seventeen syllables and to pack in a whole vision of life in three short lines. A ‘Western Haiku’ need not concern itself with the seventeen syllables since Western languages cannot adapt themselves to the fluid syllabillic Japanese. I propose that the ‘Western Haiku’ simply say a lot in three short lines in any Western language.”

William Higgins in his book, The Haiku Handbook: how to write, share, and teach haiku, wrote, “Being small, haiku lend themselves especially to sharing small, intimate things. By recognizing the intimate things that touch us we come to know and appreciate our world and ourselves more. By sharing these things with others we let them into our lives in a very special, personal way.”

A few favorites:

A day of quiet gladness,-

Mount Fuji is veiled

In misty rain.


evening breeze…

water laps the legs

of the blue heron

-Yosa Buson

the little bird


across the parking lot

-William Higginson

The summer chair

rocking by itself

In the blizzard

-Jack Kerouac

Website of interest:

The Haiku Society of America


My picks:

Book of Haikus– Jack Kerouac 811.54 KER

Cool Melons-Turn to Frogs! : the life and poems of Issa– story and translations by Matthew Golub J 895.6 GOL

The Haiku Handbook– William Higgins 811 HIG

Haiku Landscapes in the sun, wind, rain and snow– Stephen Addiss 811 ADD

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