During the past six months we have been contacted twice by poets who plan to start their own haiku groups. We always offer our best wishes and any advice that is requested at such times. If their experience is half as good as ours has been, it will be well worth their time and effort. In particular, we take this opportunity to extend our best wishes to “Skipping Stones” as they begin what we hope will be a long and fruitful collaboration.
This issue’s guest poet, Michael McClintock, has been a haiku innovator for many years. His work appears in all three editions of “The Haiku Anthology” and his earliest published haiku date from the 1960s, when he was still in his teens. Barbara Ungar’s 1978 Stanford Honors Essay in Humanities, “Haiku in English,” concluded with a chapter on the fulfillment of English-language haiku’s potential. This chapter dealt primarily with McClintock’s haiku and his seminal efforts toward the creation of an effective English-language haibun (a combination of haiku poetry and prose).
After years of absence from the haiku community, Michael McClintock made a vigorous return to the forefront about six years ago. Recently he has focused much of his energy on English-language tanka. He is an editor of “The Tanka Anthology ” (Red Moon Press, 2003), for which he wrote an informative introduction, and has succeeded Michael Dylan Welch this year as president of the Tanka Society of America. In addition to the haiku on his guest pages, we are pleased to offer you a sample of Michael McClintock’s tanka:
an old photograph when you opened a few
of my parents my letter were right to call me
young and happy were you surprised an idiot
of all the things I own my heart tonight I think of them
that is the saddest fell out? with deep fondess
(The Tanka Anthology) (Tanka Splendor) (Blithe Spirit)
in clay –
from the loons
community theatre –
in the car singing
until I’m passed
and seen . . .
a couch potato
pumps his fist