Saturday, May 31, 2008

Werner Reichhold - Three Questions

Werner Reichhold, an artist of many talents, shares his response to Haiku - Three Questions with us this week.

Dear Curtis,

Thank you so much for inviting me to answer some questions about writing haiku, and for the work to install the questions and answers on your web site.

1. Why do you write haiku?

As an installation artist for the last sixty years, I received the gift of being introduced to Japanese genres in the early 1970s when I met my wife Jane. While I was used to combining all sorts of materials into a concept to fit the demands of a given space in the location of a city, in a gallery or in a museum, I realized that I could open myself up to that thought-transference idea into literature.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

In contradiction to most other writers who concentrated for a long time on writing mostly single haiku, I myself just switched from my 3-dimensional goals I realized working in the visual arts right into poetry. On a path along concepts that include always several different genres, I offered the advantages building bigger poetical structures by combining the powers of 5, 3, 2 and 1-liners, symbiotic poetry, ghazal, and free verse plus picture into a new form I called multi-genre poetry.

3. Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits.)

owl-eyed oak in a mouth-round hole the moon

light circling on a face
   the dreamer at home

bare foot
sleeping under a tree
                bare roots

(from Tidalwave, AHA Books, 1989)

Examples of those attempts have been published under, section AHA-Books, in the magazines Mirrors and Lynx, in books and magazines abroad, and now on my web site:, the page offering 2 separate books: one written in English with an introduction by Jeffrey Woodward, the other one written in German.

Next week, Naia.

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