Carole MacRury is a Canadian poet and photographer residing in Point Roberts, Washington, a very special place on the 49th parallel that is a haven for poets. She is affiliated with the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival and The Tanka Society of America. Her poetry is published in North American and International journals and anthologies and her photos have appeared on the covers of Ribbons and Modern Haiku. Her first book, In the Company of Crows: Haiku and Tanka Between the Tides, published by Black Cat Press, was released late 2008. This year she conducted haiku workshops for elementary and secondary students and created audio-visual slide shows for use as teaching aids.
1) Why do you write haiku?
I came to haiku through free verse and my actual journey began approximately 10 to 12 years ago, when I came upon a used haiku book titled ‘Sparrow’ from Croatia. I had no idea then, that my work would eventually be translated and published in Croatian journals and anthologies. In some respects it feels like coming full circle. The universality of haiku bridges cultures better than any other form of poetry and that has always been part of its appeal to me.
I continue to study the Japanese classics in the hopes that at least some of my small epiphanies might stand the test of time. I find writing haiku therapeutic and it has deepened my appreciation for life by making me more aware of the transience of all things. My haiku are an emotional response to things witnessed in nature and some are deep metaphors for the human condition. Sort of like the world in a dewdrop - or in my case, it’s likely to be in a bee, a leaf, or another old crow. This is what sustains me.
2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?
I enjoy many forms of poetry, and have tried a few myself, a sonnet, or villanelle, but prefer to write free verse for the most part, although it’s not really free. Free verse has demands of its own. I like to read at venues in Vancouver, BC, including coop radio. This year I took part in our community Chamber Series and presented a fusion of poetry and music titled, “A Walk through the Seasons”. I’m always excited to find new ways to bring poetry to the people. Currently, I’m devoting more time to writing tanka and enjoying the many discussions on english-language tanka. I have a broad range of poetic tastes from Blake, to the Sufi poets, not forgetting Mary Oliver and more recently, Carole Ann Duffy’s work. I keep an ongoing file of favorite poems to read on rainy nights.
3) Of the many wonderful haiku you’ve written, what do you consider to be your top three? (Please provide original publication credits)
I could spend hours mulling over this one, so will pick a few chosen by editors. My favorites change day by day depending upon my mood. This one never fails to bring me back to the moment.
of the cow’s udder
Merit Award, WHR Fourth Annual Kukai
Haiku Canada Anthology, 2006
Snapshot Press, The Haiku Calendar, 2008
A few more of my favorites:
lilac in full bloom—
'Haiku Friends' ed. Masaharu Hirata, Osaka, Japan (2003)
death watch. . .
I freshen the water
of her bedside iris
Haiku Friends, ed. Masaharu Hirata, Osaka, Japan (2007)
“Carpe Diem”: Anthologie Canadienne du Haiku / Canadian Anthology of Haiku
I drive right past
Haiku Friends, Ed Masaharu Mirata, Osaka, Japan (2007)
Thank you for all you do for haiku, Curtis. I have enjoyed reading everyone’s response to your questions and appreciate all the news, announcements and u-tubes you share with us.
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 Carole answered. You must be a published poet in order to participate.
Michael L. Evans will be our guest next week.