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H. F. Noyes

H. F. Noyes

1918 - 2010

Born and raised in Oregon, H.F. "Tom" Noyes was a poet, editor, commentator, and psychotherapist. He served in the U.S. Navy during World War II as an ordnanceman and torpedoman, and then as an ensign in the Scouts and Raiders (U.S. Marines). In an autobiographical note, he wrote, "While in Service I read widely in psychology and psychoanalysis and also discovered an affinity for poetry. About a dozen of my poems were published." He attended Yale and Columbia, obtaining a doctorate in counseling, as well as training in Gestalt therapy and Jungian psychoanalysis. He practiced psychotherapy in New York City for 25 years, retiring in 1970 to live the simple life in Politia, outside Athens, Greece. He spent his summers "vagabonding on the islands of the Aegean Sea."
    His interest in haiku began, as for many other haiku poets, through study of R. H. Blyth’s four-volume Haiku. Noyes' books of poetry and haiku were published in the United States, China, and Romania. His work appeared in poetry journals worldwide and in many anthologies, including collections published in the U.S., Canada, Slovenia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan, India, Romania, Italy, Portugal, Greece, and England. His favorite authors were Thoreau, D.H. Lawrence, and Dostoevsky, and his favorite poets were Frost, Jeffers, Yannis Ritsos, Francis Ponge, the T'ang and Sung Dynasty poets, and the old masters: Basho, Buson, and Issa of Japan.
    He did not use e-mail, preferring to correspond often with other poets through handwritten letters and notes. He is perhaps best known for his "favorite haiku" pieces which he published occasionally in many places and later gathered into five volumes. His thoughts on the ethos of haiku have informed virtually everyone of the first two generations of haiku poets working in English, and his influence, though subtle, remains pervasive.

Awards and Other Honors: Some of his awards and other honors include: Appointment as 2007–2008 honorary curator of the American Haiku Archives at the California State Library in Sacramento; Honorable Mention, The Haiku Society of America's Harold G. Henderson Award (1987); Presented with the Sora Award by the Haiku Society of America (2004).

Books Published: Star carvings: poems of nature, love and human-heartedness and verse in the haiku style (London: Parkway Creative Communications, LTD., 1983); My rain, my moon: poetry of nature, love, and wartime and verse in the haiku style (London: Parkway Creative Communications, LTD., 1984); The blossoming rudder : haiku, senryu, koans, pithy sayings [1984-87] (London: Parkway Creative Communication Ltd., 1987); Just floating here: haiku & related forms (privately printed, 1992); Oar under water : the poetic sayings of H.F. Noyes [Compiled and edited by Vincent Tripi] (San Francisco, CA: Cart Horse Press, 1992); The Moment’s Gift: Haiku translated into Chinese (Baihua Literature and Art Publishing House, 1993); Between two waves/Între doua valuri [Foreword by Elizabeth St. Jacques; introduction by Ebba Story; translated by Mihaela & Ion Codrescu. Cover and drawings Ion Codrescu] (Constanta: Editura Leda Publishing House, 1996); Favorite Haiku, Volume 1 (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 1998); Favorite Haiku, Volume 2 (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 1999); Favorite Haiku, Volume 3 (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2000); Poetic Reflections: Facets on the Diamond Path (Englewood, CO: Alameda Press, 2000); The Scrolls of Attikis and Ithaca [edited by Ken Roberts. Englewood, CO] (Alameda Press, 2000. CD edition); Favorite Haiku, Volume 4 (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2001); Favorite Haiku, Volume 5 (Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2002); Still here: collected haiku and senryu (Northfield, MA: Swamp Press, 2002); raking aside leaves: a posthumous collection of the haiku of H. F. Noyes [postscript series volume 18] (Red Moon Press, 2011).

Selected Work
 
face turned up
into finch song
scent of rain
 
raking aside leaves
on the backyard pond
I release the moon
 
 
 
mountain cedar—
snowmelt leaving
a sharp blue scent
 
full moon

     peering into
     the half-built house
 
 
 
how little is sure—
but here in our birthplace
I smell the wild plum
 
homeless beggar—
the itch of his clothes
all down my spine
 
 
 
spiral nebulae
through the telescope's site—
longing to love
 
deepening autumn—
soundless drift of leaves
against the boathouse
 
 
 
clouds clear off
the great mountain back
where it was
 
the geese fly off...
and now it comes to me
that I am still here
 
 

Credits: "face turned up" - Woodnotes 17 (1993); Mariposa 16 (2007); "mountain cedar" - South by Southeast 12:2 (2005); "how little is sure" - Haiku Moment Contest 1998 II-1 Prize (International); "spiral nebulae" - Frogpond 24:3 (2001); raking aside leaves: a posthumous collection of the haiku of H. F. Noyes [postscript series volume 18] (Red Moon Press, 2011); "clouds clear off" - Haiku International Anthology in a slightly different version [edited by Zoe Savina] (Athens: 2002); Mariposa 17 (2007); "raking aside leaves" - Woodnotes 8 (1991); Noyes, Between the Waves (1996); The Red Moon Anthology 1996 (Red Moon Press, 1997); Haïku sans frontières (Web); Knots: The Anthology of Southeastern European Haiku Poetry [Editors, Jim Kacian and Dimitar Anakiev] (Prijatelj Haiku Press, 2001); World Haiku Association Web site (October 2002); Mainichi Daily News Haiku in English 653 (November 1, 2003); raking aside leaves: a posthumous collection of the haiku of H. F. Noyes [postscript series volume 18] (Red Moon Press, 2011); "full moon" - Honorable Mention, The Haiku Society of America's Harold G. Henderson Award (1987); Frogpond 10:4 (1987); A Haiku Path: The Haiku Society of America, 1968-1988 (Haiku Society of America, 1994); "homeless beggar" - Modern Haiku 27:1 (1996); The Red Moon Anthology 1996 (Red Moon Press, 1997); "deepening autumn" - Woodnotes 22 (1994); Woodnotes 30 (1996); The Red Moon Anthology 1996 (Red Moon Press, 1997); Noyes, Between Two Waves/Între doua valuri [Foreword by Elizabeth St. Jacques; introduction by Ebba Story; translated by Mihaela & Ion Codrescu; Cover and drawings Ion Codrescu] (Constanta: Editura Leda Publishing House, 1996); South by Southeast 4:2 [review] (1997); "the geese fly off" - Parnassus Literary Journal (Fall 1988); Oar under water : the poetic sayings of H.F. Noyes [Compiled and edited by Vincent Tripi] (San Francisco, CA: Cart Horse Press, 1992) [variation]; New Cicada 10:1 [review] (1993); World Haiku Association Web site (October 2002); Still here: collected haiku and senryu (Northfield, MA: Swamp Press, 2002).

Sources Biography: The Haiku Foundation is grateful to the following sources providing information regarding H.F. Noyes and his work: The American Haiku Archives; raking aside leaves: a posthumous collection of the haiku of H. F. Noyes [postscript series volume 18] (Red Moon Press, 2011); Charles Trumbull, for assistance in gathering representative haiku and publication credits.

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