Snow flakes falling, flake by flake
Each flake falls
in its proper place.
of this floating world, swept.
Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home.
Holding up my
purring cat to the moon
—Jack Kerouac, American Haiku, 1959
When he wasn’t “on the road,” famous writer Jack Kerouac was a self-avowed, cat-loving homebody. The photo above of Jack, taken by John Sampas, is from our Berg Collection of English and American Literature and is proof that he loved kitties. So happy Caturday! Thanks to our own Jeremy Megraw for finding this gem! Meanwhile, need inspiration? Wander through the Jack Kerouac Papers at NYPL and discover troves of unpublished fiction (“The Brooklyn Cat”) and non-fiction (“Untitled,” which involves observations on cat and human behavior).
Thank you, nypl
Haiku is an open-eyed engagement with the word and with the world. It is not so much what paints itself on the retina as what resonates – through one or more of the senses – with the human spirit. Haiku moments, in all their purity, surprise us when – and only when – we have achieved passive, non-striving awareness.
Everything that is out there is also within. One might say there is a cosmos without and a cosmos within. In the haiku moment they are drawn together as one, each and every time. And, over time, the distinction becomes less and less. What a great gift is this grace we call haiku. Do accept it.
“Broken and broken
again on the sea,
the moon so easily mends”
in a world of one color
the sound of wind.