on the sandy beach
spring opens its eyes © Ogiwara Seisensui
a crowd of golden faces
woken by powerful tides Kim M. Russell, 2017
Today ‘s ‘hokku’ is from another lesser known classical haiku poet who was a contemporary of Shiki and Santoka Taneda, Ogiwara Seisensui (1884-1976), who co-founded the avant-garde literary magazine Sōun (“Layered Clouds”) in 1911, together with fellow haiku poet Kawahigashi Hekigoto. Ogiwawa was a strong proponent of abandoning haiku traditions, especially the ‘season words’ so favored by Takahama Kyoshi, and even the 5-7-5 syllable norms. In his Haiku teisho (1917), he broke with Hekigoto and shocked the haiku world by advocating further that haiku be transformed into free verse. Seisensui used new media to promote his style, including lectures and literary criticism on national radio.