August 17th, 2007

Keep on Path

Poetry Friday -- the roundup is here!

Today, since I'm hosting the roundup, I thought I'd offer a brief look at one of the great haiku masters, Kobayashi Issa. He was born in Japan in 1763 to a farming family, and given the name Yataro. His registered name was later Nobuyuki, but he is best known by his pen name, "Issa." At the age of 25 (24 in the Western tradition of calculating age -- a child was considered age 1 at birth in Japan), Issa was enrolled in a haiku school run by Chikua. After Chikua's death, in 1791 (at the age of 29), Issa spent about 10 years travelling to other provinces in order to study and write haiku. During his poetic journeys, he mastered the form and found his own particular style.

In translating Issa (or any other foreign poet), the syllable count for the best translation may differ from the 5-7-5 of the traditional haiku. Here's a particularly funny one from 1795 (although I think there's a Zen-like truth in there, as well):

also changing
into a summer robe...
my journey's lice


In 1802, Issa moved to the Shogun capital, Edo (now Tokyo), where he spent a decade as a teacher of the haiku form. In 1813, Issa returned to his home village in order to start a family. I should note that Issa was, at this point, in his 50s. (Late bloomer?) Issa continued to teach and write poetry until his death in 1827. He reached his peak as a teacher and poet in the years between 1813-1824.

Here's one from 1822, during his "peak":

Insects on a bough
floating downriver,
still singing.




The Round-Up is here today

Michele at Scholar's Blog has two offerings from Hamlet by William Shakespeare.

Fuse #8 offers a sonnet by her mother, poet Susan Ramsay.

Tricia from The Miss Rumphius Effect is in with an original poem entitled "Morning."

Sara Holmes from Read Write Believe shares a love song (of sorts) in honor of her wedding anniversary.

First-time participant Jama Rattigan offers a Hawaiian creation chant called Kumulipo in honor of her home-state's anniversary-of-statehood.

John Mutford is in at The Book Mine Set with an original poem, "Levels of Naiveté", which will have you thinking about salad in a whole new way.

From Sam Riddleburger, a "found poem" by a small child (it's adorable!)

Jules from 7-Imp is in with an original poem (a cento) in honor of Eisha's birthday. Happy birthday Eisha!

Elain Magliaro is in with two. Over at Wild Rose Reader, she's got a review of and a selection from Swimming Upstream: Middle School Poems by Kristine O'Connell George. And at Blue Rose Girls she has "Did I Miss Anything?" by Tom Wayman.

David Elzey from the excelsior file makes a brief introduction to the work of Dutch poet, Toon Tellegen. The translated poem will definitely get your attention.

Nancy over at Journey Woman is in with a little Nikki Giovanni.

Little Willow is in with "Painted Windows" by Gloria Fuertes.

Cloudscome from A Wrung Sponge is in with an original haiku.

Schelle from Brand New Ending is in with two poems about sulphur-crested cockatoos; one from Banjo Patterson, and one of her own.

Karen Edmisten is in with a bit of Yeats -- and I like her twisty take on it.

Becky's Book Review has a poem by Jennifer Holm from Mb>Middle School is Worse than Meatloaf: A Year Told Through Stuff</b>.

Sarah Miller at Reading, Writing, Musing . . . brings us "Red Shirt" by Rumi.

In honor of Myra Cohn Livingston's birthday, Sherry at Semicolon has a GINORMOUS list of books edited and/or written by the inimitable Myra Cohn Livingston, plus one of Livingston's poems, "I Don't Know Why", and links to teaching resources.

Studeo brings us Keats's "Ode on a Grecian Urn."

Little Acorns Treehouse shares a skaldic poem by Mary Ann Mahoney called "From the Cold North Sea," which is used when discussing Leif Eriksson and the Vikings. Great information in the lead-up to the poem, too!

Kelly H at Big A little a is in with "First Grade Homework" by D. Nurkse.

Ms Mac at Check it Out is in with an original poem called "Summer."

Charlotte's Library is in with Ursula K. Leguin; with poems and notes and thoughts and some wonderful links to a speech Leguin gave on poetry.

Mother Reader is in with an original haiku and a sample from Eileen Spinelli's Someday

TadMack at Finding Wonderland shares "Unharvested" by Robert Frost.

Ruth at Inspiring Readers & Writers gives the nod to Jack Prelutsky's Me I Am.

Hi p Writer Mama is in with an original haiku.

Lectitans is in with "On the Equality of the Sexes Part I" by Judith Sargent Murray. (Note: Not Ann Murray, even if this is an "I am woman, hear me roar" sort of poem.)

Suzanne at Adventurs in Daily Living is in with "August" by Mary Oliver, plus the code for the Poetry Friday button if you want to nab it.

Kim from Kiraeth has two original poems (from the Wordy Girls photo prompts.

First-timer Christy Lenzi has posted ee cummings "i carry your heart with me" in honor of her wedding anniversary. (Movie fans will recognize this as the poem that Cameron Diaz read at the end of In Her Shoes.)

Christine M. at The Simple and the Ordinary is in with original poems by her two children about their roles in The Wizard of Oz.

Wordswimmer is in with an interview with J. Patrick Lewis from last Sunday.

Adrienne (of What Adrienne Thinks About That fame) links to a poem by her namesake, Adrienne Rich, "Miracle Ice Cream", and to a prior post of a poem by John Ciardi, "The Best Part of Going Away is Going Away from You." (I can so sympathize with that sentiment today, folks -- you have no idea.)

Susan at Chicken Spaghetti is in with a link to "Mercy on Broadway" by Mark Doty.

Sylvia at Poetry for Children is in with a tribute to Myra Cohn Livingston, including a bio, a poem, and a couple of lists of books.

Gina at AmoXcalli in a fit of creative baking and thinking about her two-year old's birthday, chimed in after midnight (ET) with Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll.

Stacy at Two Writing Teachers has posted "Equality" by Maya Angelou.

Hornblower over at the HMS Indefatigable has "This is Just to Say," the sly William Carlos Williams' "plum poem."

Helen at Helen's Notebook shares a poem by an as-yet unpublished friend from Tanzania called "Redemption Song".

More to come as folks check in! Come back early and often!





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