NR Digital

Country Life

Flash of Light

by Richard Brookhiser

During Jack Kerouac’s lifetime, haiku went from being a countercultural affectation to a staple of high-school literary magazines. Kerouac wrote good ones, partly because he loosened the 5-7-5 syllable corset, keeping only the three lines (when there weren’t two or four). More important to him was the shape of the thought, a moment’s focus that he identified with Buddhism. I’m no Buddhist, but even gaijin goyim can have their moments.

By Independence Day
  I notice the days
growing shorter.

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