The Spirituality of Haiku

I wonder if I could draw members’ attention to a piece on my blog… It includes a short account of the classical-style renku session at
Kitano Tenmangu last Saturday, put on as part of Kyoto City’s Bunka-sai, followed by a quotation about the spiritual nature of haiku which I think practitioners might find inspirational.
Please see here. Thank you, JD.


3 Responses to “The Spirituality of Haiku”

  1. What a quote it is! As James Kirkup, in a lower key, used to say, “A haiku a day keeps the doctor away”. We begin to see from the piece at Green Shinto that haiku is a way of staying in tune with the T’ao. R.H. Blyth also pointed this out.
    As for the renga event reported at John’s site, it might be added that, although this was not advertised as a Hailstone gathering, half a dozen of our group did collect to watch and learn something about the pomp-and-circumstance variety of linked verse, and of how the product could even be offered up on completion to a Shinto god. At Tenmangu, this would be the deified Heian Period poet, Sugawara Michizane (‘Tenjin-san’). The verse was completed ceremoniously on the kagura stage. Afterwards, our poets made a beeline for a tofu restaurant around the corner from the shrine, with San Francisco artist, Laurie Halsey-Brown, in tow. She is researching haiku for a forthcoming art project, about which we may hear more later.

  2. Interesting blog. I added a comment that I hope might spark some friendly debate.

  3. John Dougill Says:

    Thanks to Stephen for fleshing out the blog post and to David for sparking some dialogue. It’s a good point: what makes a haiku different from a three-line verse? Too often there’s no difference at all, but I think at its best haiku aspires to more than mere creativity, as intimated by Drago Stambuk. It’s a spiritual element, rather than simply artistic… something that takes us beyond the mundane rather than mirroring or recreating it… something, as Stambuk suggests, to do with oneness…

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