Great Spotted Woodpecker

Tapping Woodpeckers

Great Spotted Woodpecker

But for a woodpecker
tapping at a post, no sound
at all in the house

kitsutsuki no
hashira wo tataku
sumai kana

(from pg. 153, "The Essential Basho", translations by Sam Hamill, Shambhala Productions, 1998. ISBN: 1-57062-282-5)

Gary Warner

Gary Warner, a computer professional in Birmingham, Alabama, came to haiku in 1987 while researching a project for a computational linguistics self-study class on machine assisted translation. While looking for small language samples to test theories on, he stumbled upon haiku! He was frustrated and puzzled to find the same Japanese haiku translated into absolutely unrecognizable poems! While trying to "solve" the puzzle of what the original haiku actually said, he fell in love with the form.

Being an "Internet guy" from the early 80s, he looked around the Internet for a place to learn about haiku, but couldn't find any. So he started "Dogwood Blossoms: An Electronic Journal of Haiku" to try to stumble through the process of learning about haiku with other explorers. By the time DB was discontinued, twelve issues later, it had over 1,000 subscribers! The Dogwood Blossoms archives (at ) are still read more than 1,000 times per month.

Gary spoke at Haiku North America in Chicago, presenting a paper "Spirituality in Haiku: East Meets West", and there met for the first time many of the "print people" of haiku. Since then his poems have appeared in three books, and many Internet mailing lists.

The haiku for which Dogwood Blossoms is named:

All the fish wonder
At fallen dogwood blossoms
Invading their skies