Old Poem Saturday – A Hallowe’en Haiku – Hoyt

HalloweenHoytHaikuI did want to feature a new illustrated Halloween poem this year, and Mr. Clement Hoyt’s “Hallowe’en Mask” haiku is perfect for the occasion. Mr. Hoyt is listed as an influential American haiku poet in numerous sources, but very little information about him is available – so a bit of poetry mystery for Halloween as well! “Hallowe’en Mask” was published in 1963. Photograph and composition by me.



  1. Mysterious poem and the mystery is carried well into the photo! Why is the mask floating and why is this ladder here? What actions took place in both places?


    1. Thank you so much, Lillian! I agree, although I have no answer – I will say the ladder seemed fairly new and in good repair. The loft area of that decrepit structure, though, was not and I’m not sure I’d trust it to hold a person anymore! I thought the pair had a good ambiance for the season 🙂

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  2. I looked up Hoyt. I hoped to find a book or collection but no real luck, though I did find a collection of his writings of all kinds. I wonder if you had any more luck, I think maybe not as you said he is a mystery. I feel sad about this, being forgotten. It’s a feeling of I’d like to have met someone but it is no longer possible…?

    I love this photo. I also seek out spots that are falling apart, in alleys, out of sight, and the lure is just irresistible, isn’t it?


    1. I ran into the same thing – nothing much came up searching with his name. My copy of English Haiku: The First Hundred Years listed a birth and death date and the fact that he had no known literary executor or estate to obtain permission to publish from – so he seems to have vanished from our digital age. I wonder what he would have thought of the influence that his haikus continue to have – if he even knew while he was alive? I have been surprised more than once on this blog – maybe someone who knew Mr. Hoyt will get in touch and let us know more about him?

      Thank you! I agree – there is this lure – I am fascinated by the life that buildings have after humans are gone, how they change and decay!


    1. Thank you, Steve! I thought it had a pretty good Halloween ambiance. I have a tendency to go poke around dilapidated buildings I come across while hiking – this turns out to be both a good and bad habit! This barn/house/stable (it was hard to tell what it was anymore) was in a pasture in Wales. I climbed down a hill to photograph it and discovered it was probably still being used as a place folks used for drinking/getting up to no good – so I took my photo and got out of there!


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