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Librarian’s Cache: Mike Spikes on Jack Kerouac

Haiku and Ockham’s Razor: The Example of Jack Kerouac by Mike Spikes

Who hasn’t thought, at one time or another, of writing a novel? My first story idea came to me at age ten and it was about prisoners of war struggling to survive harsh treatment at the hands of my fifth-grade, home room teacher, Mr. Yamaguchi. It finally came to expression in this senryu, written over sixty years later, which I have a feeling is better, or at least less tedious, than my novel might have been:

forced march
the airman remembers
his anniversary 
     — A Hundred Gourds 2:2 (March, 2013)

In this month’s featured essay, first published in Modern Haiku 44:2, Mike Spikes analyzes a novel and a haiku by Jack Kerouac, both of which deal with the same themes, to see which is better. It would be anticlimactic of me to disclose Mike’s interesting conclusions.


eaton200x200Garry Eaton is the Digital Librarian for The Haiku Foundation. On the first Wednesday of each month he will highlight some part of the Foundation’s holdings.

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