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Robert Major

Robert Major

August 9, 1920 - May 18, 2008

Robert Major was a gentle man and accomplished poet. He was born in Cranston, Rhode Island, but is most associated with the Pacific Northwest where he lived the majority of his life. He served in Europe during WWII as a member of the 9th Air Corps. After the war, he earned a degree in Foreign Service at Georgetown University. He was a professional editor for McGraw Hill in New York before moving to Washington State and the University of Washington Office of Publications. While there, he earned a degree in Fine Arts. He was an advocate for peace, and was instrumental in the founding of the Peace Park in Seattle. He was a lifelong Quaker and a lover of flowers (especially dahlias and dianthus) and his work often illustrates his commitment to the one and his passion for the other. He authored two books of haiku and was published widely in all the major journals throughout his long and productive career.

Awards and Other Honors: He won several national and international haiku awards. He also served for two years as the regional coordinator for the Northwest region of the Haiku Society of America.

Books Published: Shadows on the Shoji (Quahog Press, 1997); Coasting through Puddles: Haiku of Childhood (Saki Press, 2001).

Selected Work
 
For a little while,
our shadows on the shoji
as the candles flame
 
silent Friends meeting . . .
the sound of chairs being moved
to enlarge the circle
 
 
 
Behind lace curtains
tiger lilies in a vase—
unfurled in the sun
 
Beach cottage bedroom . . .
waiting for the beam of light
to sweep the room again
 
 
 
in the summer heat
the jar of freight cars bumping
down and up the line
 
Among the great stones
set to defend the castle . . .
young ferns find
 
 
 
for the fragrance
brushing tomato leaves
warm August sun
 
Wakened by birdsong;
drifting from one world of dreams
into another
 
 
 
In the far corner
at the bottom of the grave . . .
pair of digger’s footprints
 
Sometimes I think . . .
you would answer the phone
if I were to call
 
 

Credits: "For a little while" - Shadows on the Shoji (1997); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "Behind lace curtains" - Modern Haiku XXXIII:1 (2002); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "in the summer heat" - Black Bough 8 (1996); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "for the fragrance" - The Heron’s Nest IV:9 (2002); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "In the far corner" - Frogpond XXIV:2 (2001); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "silent Friends meeting" - The Heron’s Nest IV:8 (2002); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "Beach cottage bedroom" - Haiku Northwest Meeting notes; refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "Among the great stones" -Second Prize, Kusamakura Haiku Contest (1999); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "Wakened by birdsong" - First Place (shared), British Haiku Society, James J. Hackett Haiku Contest (1999); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008); "Sometimes I think" - The Heron’s Nest VIII:4 (For Francine Porad, 2006); refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008).

Sources Biography: Betty Major, Mary Jane Leche, refuge (ed., Kacian, Red Moon Press postscripts series volume 7, 2008). Appreciation is also due Charles Trumbull for assistance in gathering representative haiku and publication credits.

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