triveni spotlight A FEATURE EVERY ALTERNATE DAY! hosts: Teji Sethi and Kala Ramesh GUEST EDITOR: Michael Dylan Welch
with the numbers
my daughter knows—
the stars counted
Gary Hotham Woodnotes #31, Autumn 1997
About the poem:
How many of us thought we could count the stars when we were children? It was indeed possible at a certain age, limited by our own experience not just of words and numbers but what little we knew of the stars. I am reminded of Jerry Kilbride’s jisei or death haiku: “terminally ill / when I was a kid I tried /to count all the stars.” With the young it is possible to count them! Gary’s poem speaks of a childhood wonder that we should hold onto as adults. This also reminds me of a favourite quotation from Rachel Carson: “If I had influence with the good fairy who is supposed to preside over the christening of all children I should ask that her gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life, as an unfailing antidote against the boredom and disenchantments of later
years, the sterile preoccupation with things that are artificial, the alienation from the sources of our strength.” This is the spirit of haiku.
Note by the Editor
Woodnotes triveni spotlight
by Michael Dylan Welch
From 1989 to 1997, in various capacities, I edited or helped to edit Woodnotes, the quarterly journal of the Haiku Poets of Northern California, and in 1996 I took on the journal independently before replacing it with my new journal Tundra. I lived in the San Francisco area for more than a dozen years and was active with HPNC from its first year in 1989 until I moved north to Seattle in 2002. Working on Woodnotes with such coeditors as vincent tripi, Ebba Story, Christopher Herold, and Paul O. Williams was a fine education in the art of haiku. The following are selections of favourite haiku and senryu from the journal’s 31 issues, with brief commentary. These poems are expressions of wonder, or as Billy Collins once described haiku, they exhibit “existential gratitude.” In return, I am deeply grateful for the thousands of poems published in Woodnotes over the years, and the hundreds of poets who contributed to the journal’s success. * * * * * This month is going to be a treat for our members. _()_ Thank you so much, Michael.