Wednesday, July 23, 2008


I found what for me is a definitive description of haiku in R. H. Blyth's "Haiku Volume III". He's speaking of the following haiku:

With last night's rain,
Snails have increased
On the aspidistras.

"At first sight this may seem a simple statement of fact, only meteorological, botanical and sociological in its scope. But haiku has a far wider range than this. It includes all science, all fact within it, and goes beyond it, pointing with no uncertain finger to the ground of being, the living tie that binds all things together in one. When we attempt to explain it, we say it is a mystery, but to the poet there is a region beyond wonder, where the commonplace and the wonderful are not distinguished, where the thusness of things is bright with a light that never was on sea or land, and yet is oddly there."

("Aspidistras" by the way belongs to the lily family.)

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