A Quarterly Journal of Contemporary English Language Haibun
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June 2008, vol 4 no 2

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Diana Webb


Correspondence Course

'For Basho and his predecessors, the object of their travels was to visit and discover places famous and renowned for poetry ( utamakura)'

Dear Mr Heron,

Thank you for this month's course notes with early examples through to much later ones of the genre haibun. I have read them with much interest alongside pieces of your own work in this vein. Below please find the work I did for the assignment, taking on board what you said of haiku in relation to the prose:

'Possibly unexpected stepping stones in the turbulent flow of an experience or impossibly surprising limpid pools along the dusty road of some strand of life - standing alone or maybe not - you choose...'

With new found bus pass freedom I set out on trips round London and its environs in search of poets' places. In St James' Piccadilly the Grinling Gibbons font where William Blake (heaven in a wild flower) was baptised. Just over the Surrey border into Sussex the green leaves of Warnham, where Shelley ( poets are God's spies) was born and sailed his paper boats across the pond. In Southwark, not far from where Chaucer's pilgrims set out and from Shakespeare's Globe, the Barrett Estate off Browning Street, named after the poet born a mile or so away in Camberwell, who told the aforementioned lady (Christian name Elizabeth), in a letter, never having met her, 'I love your poetry and I love you.'

high rise windows –
among shattered bottles
cranesbill in the grass

Notes: Opening quote from the intoduction to 'Spring Ephemerals' by Bill Wyatt

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