seed time

Since the end of the 19th century, the "seeds" of haiku have been broadcast in the West by various intermediaries:

  • imagist poets
  • philosophers and mystics
  • orientalists and translators
  • "Beat" poets of the 1960s
  • poets from "other schools" of poetry
  • how-to-do-haiku handbooks

English-language poets have come to haiku along many different paths. For some the haiku is primarily a form of spiritual discipline, others come to haiku as a way of rejuvenating nature poetry. Still others are attracted to the brevity and down-to-earthness of the form, or by the way it invites the reader to participate in the unfolding of meaning. Some prize the haiku for its attention to the momentary, or for the Zen-inspired ethos of the ego-less look; while others wish to forge a new poetic language by adopting aesthetic ideas from another culture.
Mark Rutter,
editor of Blithe Spirit


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