Sunday, September 12, 2010

Francis Masat - Three Questions

Raised in Illinois, Masat earned his Ph.D. at the University of Nebraska and is Prof. Emeritus, Rowan University.  He has been a farmer, plumber, editor, carpenter, mason, marathoner, professor, and parent.  He is still a 24/7 volunteer wildlife rescuer, having been active in feeding shut-ins, AIDS Help, and keeping up with Carol, his wife of 49 years.  He has won prizes, honorable mentions; over 1000 of his poems appear in more than 100 journals and anthologies.

1) Why do you write haiku?

I write haiku to capture an instant, mostly for me.  Often, though, I will share it in hopes of giving someone else the opportunity for insight and connection into that moment.  For me, haiku occur without my planning for them.  The energy in that spontaneity is long-lived and satisfying in its transcendence and connection to a universe in which I am a fortunate to be an observant but momentary speck.  (I pay homage here to the Japanese masters [read, read, read] and also to the patience and early-on mentoring of Ferris Gilli, The Heron’s Nest, Lee Gurga, Modern Haiku, and Stanley Forrester, bottle rockets.)

2) What other poetic forms do you enjoy?

I am enjoying publishing photo haiga.  I have published in all forms, but believe that my forte is haibun.  Its compactness and melding of prose and haiku provide me with tremendous opportunity to reveal and explore ideas and emotions on many levels at once.  Overall, haiku has aided my ability to write poetry; poetry has aided my ability to write haibun.

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

Too many choices here: my list kept changing with the weather and time of day.

sudden shower
the first drops
raise dust

                Mainichi Daily News, Best of 2006

evening shower
trees dripping

                Among the Lilies, White Lotus Anthology 2008, & Simply Haiku, 2.1, 2004

no breeze
still the pond

                Mainichi Daily News, 2nd, 12th Haiku Contest, 2009, & Solares Hill, Oct. 2009

Thank you, Curtis, for providing this site.

Francis (Fran) Masat, an old but forever neophyte haijin.

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 Francis answered. You must be a published poet to participate.


Area 17 said...

I love this comment:

"I am a fortunate to be an observant but momentary speck.

The "almost" ambiguity of:

sudden shower
the first drops
raise dust

Are we not mostly water ourselves, with a little dusting of a soul?

Thanks Fran! ;-)

Alan, With Words

Area 17 said...

I am sorry to hear of Fran's passing last year in December. A great loss to the haiku community.

Francis "Fran" Masat passed peacefully on December 30th:

weblink: Francis Masat

my deepest condolences,

Alan, With Words