- By David M. Kinchen, with information from Knopf
|Who better to set the pace on our poem-a-day journey than Basho, the seventeenth-century Japanese poet and bohemian traveler, who left us just over a thousand haiku. A selection of these are newly translated by Knopf poet David Young, and, as he reminds us in his introduction to Moon Woke Me Up Nine Times , we cannot generalize about the mechanism of these great small poems, which “love to startle, first the writer, and then the reader. As though a hummingbird were to land suddenly on your resting arm. It is the way the world so often surprises us, reaffirming its rightness from a direction we didn’t expect.” We offer a handful; if you’re a practitioner, please join in our haiku-writing contest this month (details below).
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Excerpt from MOON WOKE ME UP NINE TIMES. Copyright © 2013 by David P. Young. Excerpted by permission of Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.