Monday, September 6, 2010

Sad news - Peggy Lyles

I've received news from Dave Russo that Peggy Lyles passed away last Friday, September 3.

Peggy nurtured me as a poet, took me aside after a Haiku Holiday workshop to critique my poems. Words cannot convey the deep sense of loss I feel, the entire haiku community feels today. Peggy was a sister in the art of haiku, a mentor, and friend. My sincere condolences to Bill and family.

Thank God her poems live on and will continue to mentor future generations of poets.

Read Peggy's bio at The Haiku Foundation.

A photo from 2004. Peggy, Bill, and me.


Anonymous said...

My deepest condolences to Peggy's family, friends and the haiku community.

Zhanna P. Rader said...

I have known Peggy personally since 1986. We were members of the Athens, GA, Branch of the National Leagues of American Pen Women, when Peggy lived in Athens. I have translated many of Peggy's haiku into Russian, and she helped me with that. When she moved to Atlanta, we met several times at Japan Fest, where we, members of the North Georgia Haiku society Pinecone, gave our haiku workshops. I saw Peggy last time in September 2009 at the Japan Fest. I am deeply saddened about Peggy's death. My condolences to her family and to the haiku community who loved Peggy and her poetry.

Zhanna P. Rader

Adelaide said...

How terribly sad to lose Peggy Lyles. I have always looked for her haiku in every journal that arrived in the mail. She had a gift and will be missed by all.

My sincere condolences to her family.

Adelaide B. Shaw

Unknown said...

Peggy is one of the best English Language Haiku Poets of all time & she is a poet that we look forward to read, again and again. In mid 2002 after Lyles became an Assoc. Editor at the Nest, I wrote her. Not to offer my gradulations, but to let her know that I can now start to submit my work to he THN. I have so much respect for her, that I did not want my work to appear next to her's. Peggy laughed and said that she was glad that she took the job. And no, Peggy was not my editor. I cannot express the loss that haiku community must be feeling and I would like to offer my deepest condolences her family and friends.


H. Gene Murtha

David said...

Very, very sad news. I met Peggy and Bill when they visited San Francisco –- at a dinner with a group of Bay Area haiku poets. I remember Peggy as very lively and funny; she and Bill told a bunch of great stories. A truly great poet whose work will be read for a long time to come. My deepest condolences to her family and friends.

Aubrie said...

When I first began learning haiku, Peggy was one of the first poets I read in length. As a class, we studied her work closely and fell in love with many of the poems. When I began submitting my work, Peggy was one the first editors whom I trusted my work with, because I felt her nature shined through her haiku. I wasn't mistaken; she was kind and fair to this beginning poet, and so I made sure to never send her anything but my best work.

Then when I began to introduce others to haiku, I always used Peggy's as an example of exceptional and beautiful work. I always looked for her name in a new issue of the journals I read, and often shared the individual poems with others.

God bless Peggy. I'm thinking of her family, friends, and those within the haiku community who were touched by her.

Unknown said...

Peggy shared with me her gentle kindness, generous haiku spirit, and good humor. Several years ago,I asked her to facilitate a ginko and haiku workshop at a nature perserve in TN. To my surprise, she agreed, and she and Bill drove out for the weekend. We spent part of the day ducking under a canopy during a deluge. Later on, we and several other women rode a hay wagon through the preserve, laughing about chiggers and the places they manage to burrow into. When we arrived at a clearing, we discovered and explored a pioneer cemetary, where there were several infant graves. Her insights were inspiring. It was a richly enlightening time. When I wrote to thank her, she gifted me yet again, with a poem for my young son:

a stone, a leaf
the quiet closing
of a door

Peggy will be greatly missed.

LECHAIKU said...

We haven’t known Peggy personally, but by reading Her haiku, like in the Charming Mirror, we have seen Her Greatness, we have felt, always, Her subtle presence.
The unique puzzle which is the world of haiku just missed its Distinguished Piece.
Our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Hers.

Dorota Pyra and Lech Szeglowski

Peter Newton said...

I was lucky enough to meet Peggy Lyles at the 2009 Haiku Circle in Northfield, Mass. She gave a wonderful reading from TO HEAR THE RAIN. What a welcome guest she was -- a gentle soul to be sure. I return to her poems again and again, remembering her beautiful Southern poise and charm.
My heartfelt condolences to her family and friends. Peace to each of you. Peggy was the matriarch of an ever-growing family of haiku poets. Her wisdom is alive.

Peter Newton

Unknown said...

We hear you and love all of you as she did. Thank you for seeing our mother as the treasure she was. The beauty of your words is profound and makes us smile even at this sad time. We hope our mother's words will continue to touch the hearts of readers everywhere.

Our family would love your help and support as we try to build a monument to her in the form of a haiku stone. Our hope is to place the stone at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens and to possibly add a haiku competition as a component to the project.

We feel we know all of you and know you have shared our lives through her deeply felt, eloquently expressed moments.

We hope these moments and images will continue to move your hearts.

My brother believes she may somehow be attached to a
star. May Her light shine down on you always.

We thank you deeply.

Leslie Middleton
Peggy's daughter


nora said...

Thank you, Leslie, for this update. I and the other members of Pinecone, the North Georgia Haiku Society would love to help with the haiku stone any way we can. I assume you would have it placed in the Japanese gardens.

We were honored to know Peggy and are anxious to help perpetuate her legacy.

Healing wishes to you and your family.


Marilyn Walker or Marilyn Appl Walker said...

Many thanks, Leslie. Yes, we as members of Pinecone, the North Georgia Haiku Society, have been truly honored and nurtured by Peggy's extraordinary spirit and talent. The haiku stone is a wonderful way to pay tribute to her exceptional life as a poet and we will be honored to assist. She will be deeply missed.

With deep condolences to the family and the many who loved her,
Marilyn Walker

Area 17 said...

Losing Peggy is a huge loss to us all. I miss her more than words can say.

Please enjoy her haijinx work as haiga

Peggy's haijinx spotlight: weblink

Peggy says:

What's So Funny?

"By now I am convinced that haiku can handle whatever epiphanies or peak experiences may come a poet's way and express practically any genuine human feeling."

"...there will be smiles and laughter along the way. Haiku are about all of life, and humor is part of the mix."

Peggy Willis Lyles
haijinx, August 17, 2001


snowbird said...

Dear Leslie, I didn't see this post till today...but my thoughts have been with you all. We all felt as if Peggy wrote for us... for me:
bronze sundial
the junco cocks his head
from V to VII
snapshots 10
I am amazed at the directions other haiku poets have gone on the strength of your Mother's inspiration. There are no words adequate to express our thanks and our hopes that your Mother's spirit will comfort you in your loss.
In gratitude, Merrill