This book invites you into the enchanted world of Haiku, the ancient Japanese "essence" poem of only three lines and 17 syllables. Haiku often focuses on a single image from nature (flowers, rain, the moon, springtime), but also reveals the paradoxes and complexity of the human condition: love and death, joy and sorrow. Within these pages, you will find haiku composed over four decades of my writing life as well as the poems of my many students. Besides offering a treasury of haiku poetry, the book is a memoir, with a brief personal narrative preceding each chapter or theme. It is also a teaching guide for those who wish to offer the contemplative benefits of haiku to others, or experiment with the form themselves. A chapter is devoted to the legacy of haiku, introducing the best known and loved Japanese haiku masters; there are technical notes to instruct the beginning haikuist, and a helpful bibliography is included for exploring this art form more deeply. Haiku poems can be light, serious, bittersweet, or philosophical, and often surprise us, offering a sudden glimpse of what we might otherwise have neglected to notice. It is my hope that you, the reader, will find inspiration within these pages, a mindful reverence for everyday moments, and delight in penning your own haiku life.

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