Write Like Issa: A Haiku How-To by David G. Lanoue explores the mindset needed to write haiku like Kobayashi Issa. Lanoue explains, “To Write like Issa means writing tenderly about one’s fellow creatures, human and otherwise.” This book gives us six lessons on how to get there.
Gazing up into the darkness on a clear winter night, I quickly get lost in my own mind with thoughts about life and the vastness of time. Luckily I have poets like Teasdale, Hughes, Basho, Issa, Buson, and Toshimi to provide me company.
We have entered the micro-season of “The Spring Water Holds Warmth”, which is the second part of the mini season of Minor Cold. When thinking about this season, I think about ice. Specifically, I think about the factors that contribute to its formation and the haiku written about it.
January is typically the coldest time of the year and today we look at the poetry of Helen Hunt Jackson, William Carlos Williams, Basho, Issa, and Shiki as they explore the impact of the winter winds.
“I didn’t know it, but I was having a 'haiku moment’- a moment when the mind stops and the heart moves”. This quote is from Margaret McGee, the author of Haiku: The Sacred Art (A Spiritual Practice in Three Lines), and it marks the beginning of her journey toward a haiku life.
Cold midwinter days provided plenty of time for poets like Wallace Stevens, Robert Frost, Matsuo Basho, and Kobayashi Issa to reflect on the snow and ice and our connection to it.
“Write single-lines poems about birds”, the tweet said. How do you do that? It turns out in order to understand this form, we need to look at the foundations of haiku.
We have entered the micro-season of “The Elk Sheds its Horns”. Elk actually have antlers, not horns. So we should be referring to this micro-season as "Elk Shed its Antlers". Our exploration into this season will look at the elk, the antlers, and a few haiku.
The forest transforms itself in the winter, and to help celebrate the trees' persistence during the winter months we turn to the poets William Carlos Williams, Margaret Widdemer, and Issa for inspiration.