Often credited as the “first fully realized haiku in English” (to quote Haiku in English: The First Hundred Years by Kacian, Rowland, and Burns), “In a Station of the Metro” by Ezra Pound celebrated its 100-year publication anniversary last year (2013). It was not the first haiku written originally in English (that title goes to a haiku written in 1902 by Noguchi Yonejirô,1875-1947) and it broke a number of the “rules” of haiku, generating some debate about what could constitute a haiku in English. But it captures a moment in time that rings true and works as a haiku or an epigram still today, 100 years later. Have a great weekend!
Larry Levis (1946-1996) attributed a powerful and direct effect of the landscapes of his life, particularly of his childhood in the central valley of California, on his poetry. His poems had always evinced the landscapes of rural California for me, so it was interesting and gratifying to learn that about him and his creative process. Today’s excerpt is from his fantastic short poem, “The Spirit Says You are Nothing” – read the whole poem here. Drawing (pencil on newsprint), photograph, and composition by me.