modern haiku

Sixty Instant Messages to Tom Moore
by Paul Muldoon

with a foreword by William J. Higginson


Sixty Instant Messages to Tom Moore by Paul Muldoon. (Lincoln: IL, 2005). 32 pages, 8" x 5", sewn letterpress edition. ISBN 0-9741894-1-3. $15.00 plus $3 shipping from Modern Haiku Press, Box 2016, Champaign, IL 61825.

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From the foreword:

For the last several years, I have been reading and rereading Paul Muldoon's sequences of verses that strike me as a hybrid between haiku and mad-song lyric.
        —William J. Higginson


Come come, Tom. Come come.
You know the rod spurns its root
as a rule of thumb.


Such technophobes,
those fireflies down and dirty
in the disco-strobe.


Completely at odds.
We're now completely at odds.
Completely at odds.

From the afterword:

Tweeds or Tux? There is a battle raging for the soul of American haiku. Not an epic conflict between good and evil, but between word and image-based haiku. Imagistic haiku, championed by such foundational figures of English-language haiku as R.H. Blyth, Kenneth Yasuda, and Robert Spiess, emulate the mature style of Japanese haiku master Bashô by using images to give readers insights into Buddhist "suchness." Word-based haiku, less lofty in their intent, simply say "let's have fun with words and with each other." Their lineage can also be traced to the venerable master Bashô, to his earlier, more playful style. This second group emphasizes the hai or "play" of hai-ku, "playful verse." Today's best-known practitioner of this playful style is Paul Muldoon, whose last two collections, including his Pulitzer prize-winning collection Moy Sand and Gravel, contain sequences of seventeen-syllable, word-based haiku.
        —Lee Gurga
        Editor, Modern Haiku

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