A great vessel (haiku by Shiki)

meeting-a-big-vesselAt my first haiku conference, I missed the chance to meet William Higginson. I was a newcomer to haiku and everybody at the conference were poets whose poems I’ve read in haiku anthologies. I felt I had no right to bother this celebrity of the haiku world. So I stayed away, occasionally glancing in his direction. “Wow! William Higginson!” I thought.

When he passed away a few years later, I was sad I never had the courage to speak to him at the conference.

Next time you have a chance to meet your haiku idol, at least shake their hands, even if you have nothing to say.


The spring day:

A small boat going round

A great vessel.

Shiki (Haiku, volume 2 Spring, by R.H. Blyth, p. 380)


One thought on “A great vessel (haiku by Shiki)

  1. At an American Library Association conference, I had the chance to meet Henry Winkler (the Fonz). While waiting in line, I kept thinking to ask him for a poem for the Electronic Poetry Network, but he he was an actor and children’s book author, not a poet. At the last second, I decided against asking him for a poem, but it was too late to think of anything else to say, so I stammered, “Thank you” and shook his hand.

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