Woodnotes — #22

Autumn 1994

Unlike some haiku journals that present poems in alphabetical order by the poets’ surnames, Woodnotes always sequenced its poems, usually starting with the current season of that particular issue. The note from the editors in Woodnotes #22 addressed poem sequencing:


This autumn issue contains an interesting assortment of senryu and haiku. About a third of the poems deal solely with human nature (a few are humorous). Another third are on natural topics without a recognizable seasonal reference. The remaining third are identifiable by season, with “snow” the most definitive recurring term. In the past, we have generally organized poems by season, starting with the current one. Though still broadly seasonal, this issue’s poems are primarily arranged by mood. The arrangement takes into account shifts from outdoor to interior spaces, movement from wilderness to urban settings, and the repeating pulses of sunshine and moonlight. The occurrence of so many nonseasonal poems makes us wonder what we as haiku poets are presently focusing on. Distinctions are invaluable when they bring guidance and clarity. Perhaps the traditional distinction between human nature and “Nature” is becoming less important than the reality of the moment. Maybe the more subjective aesthetics of tanka are influencing the composition of haiku or the editorial selection. Or, perhaps, this single issue simply contains less seasonal material. Whatever underlies the phenomenon, enjoy the insights and visions of fellow poets.


This issue featured the first and only instance in Woodnotes of a haibun that used tanka instead of haiku, later called tanka prose. This untitled piece was written by Patricia Neubauer. Also included was a thoughtful essay by vincent tripi, “No-Self and the Paradox of Style,” a rich set of short book reviews, and a record number of 106 haiku and senryu, plus 11 tanka. As usual, the poems represented a who’s who of leading North American haiku and tanka poets writing in English.


Pages 44

Haiku/Senryu 106

Tanka 12 (including one tanka in a tanka prose piece)

Haibun 1

Essays 1

Reports 1

Mini-Reviews 14

Editorials 3


Woodnotes Award


hand to hand

the unframed photos

of her life

             Gary Hotham



Selected Poems


Along the way

an old oak branch

becomes a walking stick

             Garry Gay



featherless chick—

the yellow jacket crawls in

a hollow eye socket

             B. H. Feingold



five years

in the wrong window;

the violet’s first bloom

             Kay F. Anderson       +

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