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.
“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.
Seas the Day: A Year of Sea Swimming Poetry is Rachael Boughton’s first published collection of poetry and prose that she aptly described as “love letters” to the Sea. These poems are as much about Boughton’s connection to the ocean as they are a celebration of life.
The Heart of Haiku is a short book written by Jane Hirshfield in which she investigates the evolution of Matsuo Basho’s writing and poetry. Using Basho’s own words and haiku, Hirschfield demonstrates Basho's impact on the poetic world.
We have entered the mini season of Minor Snow. This season is marked by cold winds and regular snowfall. This season also brings to mind the concept of wabi-sabi.
The Narrow Road to the Deep North is Basho’s third book documenting his travels in Japan, and it is considered one of the major Japanese texts from the Edo period. This book, written in haibun, demonstrates Basho’s mastery of this form. Yuasa states that the “prose and haiku illuminate each other like two mirrors held up facing each other.”
In Mountain Home: The Wilderness Poetry of Ancient China, David Hinton traces the rivers-and-mountains tradition from its origins in the 5th century C.E. to the Sung Dynasty (13th century). "Fundamentally different from the writing that employs the ‘natural world' as the stage or materials for human concerts, this poetry articulates a profound and spiritual sense of belonging to a wilderness of truly awesome dimensions."
As we move towards the end of the year, I wanted to spend a bit of time reflecting on my favorite books and provide an opportunity to hear about your favorites. Below are four of my favorite books, and an opportunity for you to help create the 1st Annual Naturalist Weekly Readers’ Book List.