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Journey to the Interior: American Versions of Haiban Paperback – 1 Aug 1998

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Product Description


In this poetry collection, Bruce Ross invites the reader on a journey of self-discovery with over 25 contemporary North American authors of haibun.

From the Author

Haibun are poetic narratives of the soul supported by haiku.
The most well-known haibun is the seventeenth-century travel journal "Narrow Path to the Interior" by Basho, the originator of haiku. It records a trip to the remote regions of Japan with sensitive prose sketches of the beauty of observed nature, highlighted by haunting haiku, and lively prsentations of people and situations along the way, often crystalized in a witty or touching haiku. The contemporary American versions of these travel journals, nature sketches, diaries, landscapes, and interior self-revelations follow the work of authors such as Henry David Thoreau, Jack Kerouac, and Gary Snyder and represent some of the most important American writing today. In effect, these haibun are narrative revelations of the soul in its survival under the challenging difficulties of the modern world. Experience in their deepest artistic expression epiphanies of commonplace things (dawn in a small town, a wate spider), natural landscapes (Lake Superior, Cadillac Mountain, a winter woods), travel journals (a trans-Canada hitchhike, a Northwest islands bicycle trip), exotic foreign locations (Tobago, Cozumel), introspective meditations (a Zen Buddhist retreat, a feminist historical reading of travel, a revelation on spousal love), expressions of loss (one's lover, an infant child, a grandfather), moving recollections (a childhood pet, one's parent, a trip to the circus), metaphysical speculations (the nature of space and time, the nature of consciousness, childhood's spiritual wonder), and the like. "Journey to the Interior" collects narratives of the soul by some of our most gifted haiku poets. As an example: "Chaco Canyon Haibun": "There is a petroglyph on a small cliff in the desert about one and a half miles from the road. On cream-colored sandstone is a deep red painting of a star, a crescent moon, and the sun. It is thought to be a picture of the supernova of 1054. the rocks, sand and scraggly bushes are just about the same as 900 years ago. I stand alone in the vast expanse of deset and imagine an Anasazi Indian carefully painting this picture to record the fantastic event that he/she had witnessed. Now through this painting, here on the desert cliff, I can share that person's wonder of the cosmic forces that shape the universe and together across the centuries we marvel at the mystery. distant starlight/ falling on age-old rocks/ my hand casts a shadow" --Michael Ketchek

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x8cd92690) out of 5 stars 3 reviews
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cd9ab70) out of 5 stars We Need More Haibun in English! 3 Sept. 2002
By Hortensia Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Haibun is a Japanese form consisting of poetic prose with haiku and/or tanka interspersed or at the end of the piece. The title is an allusion to the work, "The Narrow Path to the Interior" by the great haiku master Basho.
Ross writes a priceless introduction to haibun that serves as a course all by itself so if you know nothing at all about this wonderful form, you will come away from this book with a solid foundation.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cc6036c) out of 5 stars Ginko Walk to the Festival "Storytelling and Politics", Paris, 2010. 25 May 2010
By Zinovy Y. Vayman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I am taking this book to present it (along with other haibun books) at the June literary gathering under auspices of the Shakespeare bookstore in Latin Quarter. Buy this trailblazing book.
Haibun is a promising genre transplanted from Japan. Here is one short example:

Little Haibun for Chet Raymo.

Every morning Chet Raymo {Chester Raymond} walks from his house in North Easton to college where he teaches physics and astronomy.
It is only one mile across the Southern Massachusetts.

He notices how the woods and meadow change over time. While crossing the piece of conservation land he even detects Native Americans ephemeral presence.
First American iron shovels were made in the vicinity. But now this site is abandoned completely.
Chet traces the granite boulder's origin to the place 3 miles north. A mighty glacier once traversed this exurbia dragging rocks, often the immense ones.
Chet repeats in disbelief, "To write about such things every week for 20 years in the Boston Globe and get paid for that."
His one mile is essentially a ginko walk and I ask him whether he has ever fallen in a poetry mood in the last 40 years of stepping through this sanctuary with "reverent feet."
"No, he says, it's easier to write good prose than good poetry."
He has produced a beautifully made book about his 10,000 walks along the same route and named it "The Path. One Mile Walk through the Universe."
And how do I fight my looming oblivion? By writing this review?

crispy morning...
in the Internet blight
my dustbin of history.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x8cc60aa4) out of 5 stars Good Value 10 April 2014
By Janice Kvale - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book also came from Better World Books in like-new condition. Excellent book and exactly what I wanted. This is definitely haibun American-style.
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