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Frogpond 43.1 • 2020

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - "Haiku Reflections"

Essay 2 - "Sociality
in Haiku"




Book Reviews


"Haiku Reflections"

by Charles Trumbull

"Haiku Reflections" from A Field Guide to North American Haiku
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

The topic of this installment of the Field Guide is reflections and, by extension, mirrors. People have been delighted, impressed, and even frightened by the reflection of objects and living creatures since earliest times. The physical reflection of the moon on still water, the apparition of one’s face in a mirror, and the image of the world in reverse are all quite uncanny. So much so that people have looked to reflections for deeper significance: perhaps an inventory of one’s youthful good looks or advancing years, advice to the lovelorn, explanations of the past, and prognostications of things to come. Reflections are truly magic.

Neither “reflection” nor “mirror” are standard Japanese seasonal words (kigo), but topics such as these were common in classical Japanese haiku. Objects, especially celestial bodies were a favorite topic, for example:

hanabi seyo yodo no ochaya no yūzukiyo

reflected in a teahouse pool—
the moonlit evening

Buson, trans. Allan Persinger,
Foxfire: the Selected Poems of Yosa Buson (2013)

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Trumbull, Charles. "Haiku Reflections from A Field Guide to North American Haiku." Frogpond 43.1, Winter 2020, 98-115.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the essay: page 98. The complete essay includes pages 98-115. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

"Haiku Reflections" from A Field Guide to North American Haiku
(complete PDF version)