Sunday, October 12, 2008

Bill Higginson

A giant of the haiku world, Bill Higginson, has died. I received word from Curtis Dunlap at Blogging Along Tobacco Road and could not put it any better than he does in his most recent post:

We have lost a friend and pioneer in English language haiku and Japanese poetic forms. Please join me in expressing our sincere condolences to Penny, family, and friends of William J. Higginson.

Perhaps the best form of tribute I can offer is a link to Butterfly Dreams: The Seasons Through Haiku and Photographs, with 25 examples of translations by Bill of the haiku masters, photographs by Michael Lustbader.

Here is Bill's translation of a haiku I've read at least five different versions of in recent weeks, none anywhere even near satisfactory, until I read this gem by Bill this morning:


you a butterfly?
and I Chuang-tzu?
my dreaming heart


Thank you, Bill, literally for everything.



Greg said...

that's horrible news. Bill's "The Haiku Handbook" was the most informative and useful book on haiku I've ever read. He is someone who should have a statue erected in his memory.

monarch butterfly
in the glaring sun

Ed Baker said...

I too got this news via
Curtis and sent alon:

Old Frog
leaps into
s i l e n c e

and I think that Bill and Penny were working on a new edition of HAIKU WORLD


ps where in Maryland do
you (Greg Schwartz) live? I am in Silver Spring.

Greg said...

I'm in Owings Mills. saw your haiku on Curtis's page... very nice.

Charles Gramlich said...

I saw this over on Greg's blog. Sorry to hear it.

Issa's Untidy Hut said...

Folks, thanks for the thoughts, Ed and Greg, very nice haikus, Greg, your's segueing so well with Bill's translation and, Ed, you've done so many very wonderful variants of the Basho Frog and this one may be the finest ...