Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Butterfly Dream: Moon and Snow Haiku by Jack Galmitz

English Original

the moon
the snow

yards & lots, 2012

Jack Galmitz

Chinese Translation (Traditional)


Chinese Translation (Simplified)


Bio Sketch

Jack Galmitz was born in NYC in 1951. He received a Ph.D in English from the University of Buffalo.  He is an Associate of the Haiku Foundation and Contributing Editor at Roadrunner Journal.  His most recent books are Views (Cyberwit.net,2012), a genre study of minimalist poetry, and Letters (Lulu Press, 2012), a book of poetry.  He lives in New York with his wife and stepson.


  1. The layout and type ("single-object"[ichibutsu shitate] poem, which [focuses] on a single topic and in which the hokku [flows] smoothly from start to finish, without the leap or gap found in the composition poem") of the poem lift it out of the ordinary.

    Note: Below is excerpted from my "To the Lighthouse" post, titled "Ichibutsu Shitate (One-Image/Object/Topic Haiku)," which can be accessed at http://neverendingstoryhaikutanka.blogspot.ca/2015/01/to-lighthouse-ichibutsu-shitate-one.html

    ... But, historically and aesthetically speaking, this view of the supremacy of the combination poem has been challenged by Basho’s other disciples through their different interpretations of Basho’s teachings and hokku (the beginning verse of a haikai, the ancient name for haiku). For example, Kyorai argues that, although combining different topics are important, “it [doesn’t] take precedence over other techniques and that Basho also [composes] ‘single-object’ (ichibutsu shitate) poem, which [focuses] on a single topic and in which the hokku [flows] smoothly from start to finish, without the leap or gap found in the composition poem" ("Traces of Dreams: Landscape, Cultural Memory, and the Poetry of Basho," p. 111). In Travel Lodging Discussion, Kyorai stresses that the Master (Basho) takes delight in the following haiku, telling Shiko, “This hokku was deliberately composed on a single object” (Ibid., p. 112)

    warmly wrapped
    in its feathered robe --
    feet of the wild duck

    In Kyoraisho, Kyorai notes:

    The Master said: “A hokku that moves smoothly from the opening five syllables to the end is a superb verse.”
    Shado remarked: “The Master once told me, ‘The hokku is not, as you believe, something that brings together two or three different things. Compose the hokku so that it flows like gold being hit and flattened by a hammer …”
    Kyorai: “If a poet composes by combining separate things, he can compose many verses and compose them quickly. Beginning poets should know this. But when one becomes an accomplished poet, it is no longer a question of combining or not combining …” (Ibid., p. 111)....

  2. ... Technically speaking, ichibutsu shitate (one-image/object/topic haiku) are more challenging to compose because the poet must employ various rhetorical devices/literary techniques to “create enough internal contrast presented within the image to make it a haiku, rather than a poetic fragment" (Kocher, p.6). For example,

    a sparrow alights
    on the concrete wall
    of the prison

    Philomene Kocher

    In the haiku above, the third line “holds the surprise and tension of the poem” (Ibid.), creating the type of ambiguity (an interpretative space that invites the reader to participate in the process of constructing meaning) what Philomene Kocher calls “the gap between the words of a haiku and its larger story” (Ibid.)...