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Haiku Tribute Challenge May 23

For May’s Per Diem feature on The Haiku Foundation website Carlos Colón has selected poems written as tributes to fellow haiku poets, but without indicating who the recipient of the tribute is. We challenge you to identify the poet being honored today, May 23. Read the Per Diem poem, then send us the name of who you think is the honoree in the comment box below. All recipients, and identifiers, will be revealed at the end of the month. Good luck!

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Such excellent speculations!- but it was intended as tribute to O. Mabson Southard. I realized afterwards that the turtle reference might suggest Peggy. I had forgotten about Bob’s wonderful handwritten and hand-illustrated volume “The Turtle’s Ears.” No doubt both poet’s work resonates deeply in my unconscious.
    Mr. Southard was such a marvelous purveyor of moonlight I hoped that might trigger an association. (It’s a treacherous undertaking to write a tribute poem for a poet whose work is so much better than one’s own.)

  2. Modern Haiku
    Volume 42.2 Summer 2011

    featured essay

    A Tumbly Life of Haiku: Reading Robert Spiess *
    by Randy Brooks

    *This essay was originally presented at
    the Cradle of American Haiku 2 conference
    in Mineral Point, Wis., Sept. 11, 2010.


    The Turtle’s Ears (1971)

    Bob Spiess’s second book was published in 1971 by Wells Printing Co. in Madison, Wis. This collection of ninety haiku was also bound with Japanese stitching, featuring one haiku per page and including sumi-e–style sketches. According to the title-page note, this book is a selection of haiku written on “twenty-two hundred miles of solitary canoeing on Midwestern rivers and streams.” As the flyer for the book notes, “These are poems of pure experience in which all the senses of sight, sound, smell, taste and touch manifest the animate and inanimate forms of creation encountered by the author.”

    Although the majority of these haiku are moments of observation and perception from his canoeing perspective, the underlying feeling is that of peaceful acceptance and appreciation of life. These are haiku of being at ease out on the lakes and rivers—poems of not imposing his will or worries on the things experienced but rather passing by as an appreciative interloper in nature. These are haiku that take time to just be there. Here is the title poem:

    Around the bend
    a log lying in the stream
    —the turtle’s ears

    Like the turtle on the log, Spiess is on the water, listening to what may come around the next bend. The water moves everything—the canoe, fallen logs, the turtle, the haiku poet. We hold on for a moment against the current, then give way to its flow.

    “The Turtle’s Ears,” by Robert Spiess (Wells Printing Company, 1971); selected for “The Haiku Anthology,” edited by Cor van den Heuvel (Norton, 1999)


  3. Indian summer
    a turtle on a turtle
    on a rock

    Is that correct, drn, now i’m lost

  4. Now, i have mental issues, but was Robert’s poem
    “turtle rocks,” or “turtle stones”?

  5. My first thought was Peggy, although “turtle stone,” threw
    me off and so far from her famous haiku: Indian summer

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