‘A haiku is a hand becoming’ – Reginald H Blyth


A haiku is the expression of a temporary enlightenment,
in which we see into the life of things.

A haiku is not a poem, it is not literature; it is a hand becoming,
a door half-opened, a mirror wiped clean.  It is a way of returning
to nature, to our moon nature, our cherry blossom nature, our
falling leaf nature, in short, to our Buddha nature.  It is a way in
which the cold winter rain, the swallows of evening, even the very
day in its hotness, and the length of the night, become truly
alive, share in our humanity, speak their very own silent
and expressive language.
–  Haiku: Eastern Culture, 1949, Volume One, p. 243.
Translations and commentary by Reginald H. Blyth

I came across the above extract by accident and thought it beautifully written. I’m not sure if it was meant as a poem but it reads like one. Read it aloud and and gambol amongst its words.

In 1949, with the publication in Japan of the first volume of Haiku, written by Blyth, haiku was introduced to the western world. Go here to Terebess Asia online to read about this remarkable man. This website  is also a resource for some great discussion on haikus.

The photo below shows Blyth’s last resting place in Japan.

And now I hope you will visit the Tuesday Poem Blog and discover more interesting poetry facts and poems.