Beverley George is president of the Australian Haiku Society
The entire Japanese poetic tradition is grounded in the observance of the passing of the seasons, and it is quite simply second nature for Japanese to view human emotions through seasonal metaphors. Liza Dalby
The link between seasonal awareness and the writing of Japanese haiku is apparent. What is not so clear and causes much debate is whether this essential aspect of Japanese haiku can be successfully adopted into other cultural sensibilities and linguistic frameworks, including the English language.
In this article I would like to discuss the situation in Japan as I have observed it directly, rather than relying on readily accessible texts such as those by William J Higginson and Donald Keene and the pioneering work of RH Blyth, Harold G Henderson and James W Hackett, with which readers interested in haiku will already be familiar. I would then like to offer some thoughts about the importation of haiku into Australian writing and how it might be more widely understood and better incorporated. Three visits to Japan in the past two years and ten years of studying haiku do not an expert make, and I hope the tone of this paper is discursive and exploratory rather than in any way prescriptive. Writing haiku is a journey, not a destination, and it has many pilgrims.
Read the entire article by Beverley George as a PDF file