Japanese Influences on the Haiku of Gary Snyder, with Six Original Poems

No Thumbnail Available
Booher, Rachel
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
University Honors College, Middle Tennessee State University
Haiku is a traditional form of Japanese poetry with origins dating back thousands of years. This creative thesis traces the history of haiku, discusses notable haiku authors, analyzes artistic attributes and principles of haiku, and examines their Japanese influences on the life and writings of Gary Snyder. Snyder’s verse is the closest any English-language poetry has come to expressing the true aesthetic of haiku, which includes the seasonal element called kigo. Snyder’s poems align with the aesthetics of the haiku form, including potential kigo, in English. The analytical portion (Section I) of this thesis illustrates the immense impact that Japanese culture has had on American poetry, particularly on the writings of Gary Snyder, and analyzes representative poems by Snyder in the haiku tradition. The creative potion (Section II) of this thesis features original, haiku-like compositions that demonstrate that the English language can employ potential kigo within an American landscape and follow the principles of traditional haiku.