Sunday, February 22, 2009

Christopher Herold - Three Questions

Blogging Along Tobacco Road is celebrating an anniversary this month! Today's Haiku - Three Questions installment marks the 52nd in the series; how appropriate that our guest is Christopher Herold, one of four editors (the others having already been featured) kind enough to welcome this fledgling into The Heron's Nest eight years ago.

Thank you, Christopher...for your patience and encouraging words over the years. Your contribution is timely and much appreciated!

Also, my sincere thanks to all the poets (see the honor roll to the right) who have taken time out of their busy schedules to contribute to this little project. Your thoughtfulness made this milestone possible.

And now, Christopher Herold:

Dear Curtis,

You've really ramped up your website. So many wonderful updates! A big BRAVO to you and hai-kudos.

So, here's what I have for you.



* * * * *

1. Why do you write haiku?

If anything could move more swiftly than the speed of light, then it’s got to be the mind. For me, the process of writing a haiku is like casting a grappling hook from a speedboat at a desired target: an epiphany that’s already rapidly disappearing in the past. When the hook catches, I can reel myself back to take a longer look. Why do I do this? Call it an obsessed fascination with the intricacy of being, and being connected to everything.

2. What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

Renku has long been one of my passions, particularly live renku. Karma Tenzing Wangchuk and I founded the Port Townsend Renku Club last year and the group is flourishing happily. My enjoyment of renku differs from my love of haiku. For me, renku has more to do with practicing social skills than creating a brilliant poem. Communal word-sculptures demand honing our sensitivity and our support of fellow writers, embracing differences while working to achieve, not an end-product but a harmoniously enjoyable journey.

Now and then I’ll write a tanka, or haibun, and, on very rare occasions, free-verse. Oh, and I lovingly remember the oh-so-naughty limericks my parents, great aunt, and grandfather used to bandy about. I’m not much good at writing them myself, I’m sorry to say.

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

dark dark night
a leaf strikes the pavement
stem first

Ueno Basho Festival Anthology, 1993
The Unswept Path — Contemporary American Haiku (White Pine Press, 2005)

we lower a kayak
into the sound

HSA Harold Henderson Contest, 2nd. Pl., 1999
In the Margins of the Sea — Snapshot Press, 2000
The Unswept Path — Contemporary American Haiku (White Pine Press, 2005)

lost at last
among old growth cedars
the sound of the river

Wind Changing Directions
(HPNC, Two Autumns Reading Series, 2008)

If you've been enjoying this weekly series and have not contributed, please consider sharing your response to the three little questions that Christopher answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.

Alexis Rotella will be our guest next week.

What a wonderful way to start year two!


Area 17 said...

Indeed, what a great way to celebrate 52 editions of Three Questions.

I enjoyed reading these haiku especially as they all had sound as a major part. The leaf haiku is my favourite partly as it was so unexpected. I can still "hear" this haiku! :-)


Unknown said...

Hear, hear!

"foghorns," has always been one of
my favorites of Christopher's. As
one of those Nest fledglings of '02
I would like to thank the entire staff of The Heron's Nest.



snowbird said...

Dear Christopher, How instructive
your kayak is...Hugs & Smiles

Magyar said...

_Lowering the kayak into the sound... of the fog horn. Just grand. _m

Unknown said...

Hi Chris(topher)
I loved the mention of your limerick past.
The fermented apple is still cider after all these years!