Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Baseball Haiku and a New Montage

Baseball season has been going on for a couple of weeks now. A few readers of this blog will probably be surprised to discover that the first baseball haiku was not written by an American. The first baseball haiku was composed in Japan by haiku master Masaoka Shiki in 1890. Jack Kerouac is credited as the first American to write a baseball haiku in the late 1950s. The reader can Google and probably find the poems that the poets penned, but I recommend that you purchase a baseball haiku anthology entitled appropriately, Baseball Haiku.

Alan Pizzarelli posted an interview on his web site recently that features three poets from the anthology. Cor van den Heuvel (co-editor), Ed Markowski, and Alan enjoy a lighthearted interview conducted by Jimmy Roselle.

Allan Burns has informed me that a new Montage gallery featuring poems by Paul O. Williams, Marian Olson, and Paul MacNeil is available in pdf format from Red Moon Press. The theme for this Montage is "The Good Earth" and honors Earth Day and Arbor Day .

I also recommend that the reader look through the Montage archive. This is a very interesting series with many excellent haiku, including a Montage dedicated to baseball.


Unknown said...


nitpicking about who wrote the first haiku about baseball is hilarious but irrelevant because it is only superficial knowledge. I prefere more wisdom from the haiku world. Mediocrity and haiku are conflicting.

Curtis Dunlap said...

Perhaps to you, Geert, but I don't consider the post or the origins of the first baseball haiku nitpicking. For people who love the game of baseball and haiku poetry (such as myself) the information was/is intended to be useful. It's certainly not mediocre or superficial.

But you're certainly entitled to your opinion.

Take care,

Unknown said...


Thanks for mentioning Montage--and for all you do here in the service of haiku and its history.

Best wishes,

Curtis Dunlap said...

You are welcome, Allan. And thank you for the kind words.

All the best,

Area 17 said...

Being part Dutch (on my birth mother's side) maybe I can respond to Geert's comment! ;-)Before that, I am a little frivolous in nature, but also very very serious at the same time about haiku, and see life-changing incidents in my haiku workshops.

An award-winning bookshop, who were so impressed by a recent haiku event, asked me recently to suggest a more extensive haiku book list then they have already started.

It was very hard to suggest some of the books I use for my workshop resources as fine books like Salad Anniversary (yes, it's tanka) and The Haiku World are out of print (correct me if I'm wrong, please!).

But amongst the books I suggested (Snapshot Press books etc...) I just had to promote Baseball Haiku, and as I have a nearly full 'book purchase loyalty card' it's a book I'll be buying from them very shortly.

It's a great looking book, and it's a useful handle to state that Shiki (4th haiku pillar) and Jack Kerouac wrote haiku, and I shamelessly plugged them along with a few other names.

Thanks also for highlighting Al's new sight, as I'm always interested in good senryu sites too.

all my very best,

With Wordsp.s. BTW Geert has contributed a lot to haiku, and I do bow humbly before him.

Unknown said...

well, I don't have a problem with
Geert's post, anyhow, thanks for sharing Allan and Curtis. I don't
believe that the Phillies will repeat, but you never know...



Geert said...

Dear haiku lovers,

my comment about 'nitpicking' was inspired by a few mails I received in the past about the same issue. Kerouac or Shiki? Both are welcome, I don't care much about who was the first one. Baseball lovers should visite the Shiki-Kinen museum in Matsuyama Japan to see his baseball stick.

Unknown said...

Hello, Curtis,

When I followed the Montage baseball link, it returned a 404 error, but after some looking around I found it had moved here:


Just thought you'd want to know.