Robert Epstein is a licensed clinical psychologist who practices psychotherapy in the San Francisco Bay Area. Robert came to haiku via a longtime interest in Eastern philosophy, aided especially by Alan Watts and D.T. Suzuki. In addition, Robert greatly appreciates the scholarly works and inspiration of R. H. Blyth and Eric Amann. Over the years, his haiku and senryu have appeared in Acorn, bottle rockets, Frogpond, Modern Haiku, moonset, South by Southwest and other publications. Robert recently edited a book called, THE BREATH OF SURRENDER on the subject of recovery; he is presently at work on two books of death awareness poems called, CHECKOUT TIME IS NOON and an anthology called, DREAMS WANDER ON.
1) Why do you write haiku?
I write haiku to stay alive. As a chronically ill person, who used to write prose regularly, I need to remain in contact with my spirit, and haiku affords me the means to do so.
2) What other poetry forms do you enjoy?
Most of my poetry writing is limited to haiku and senryu. Once upon a time I used to write free verse... and, who knows, I may sometime return to that form of poetry. When my father died nearly eight years ago, I was cracked wide open and wrote haibun for three weeks straight in hopes of capturing whatever memories of him I could.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you've written, what do you consider to be your top three?
-- HSA Member Anthology, 2007
checkout time is noon
I turn in the key
and everything else
-- forthcoming book by same title
almost all her potted plants
still in bloom
-- Modern Haiku, 37:3, Autumn 2006
If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response (whether it be for haiku or tanka) to the three little questions that Robert answered. You must be a published poet to participate.