Millikin University Haiku Writer Profile

Bernard Einbond

 

  the white of her neck
as she lifts her hair for me
to undo her dress
 
by Bernard Einbond

Biographical Background

Bernard Einbond was a longtime professor at Lehman College in the Bronx, NY, as well as President of the American Haiku Society in 1975.

The Bernard Lionel Einbond Renku Competition held annually is named after him.

born: May 19, 1937
died: August 14, 1998

This profile of haiku writer, Bernard Eindbond, was researched, written and created by Brianne Marsel.

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Author Awards

He received the Keats Poetry Prize and the Haiku Society of American Merit Book Award.

 

Author's Books

Published posthumously,
The Tree As It Is includes new and selected poems as well as new poems from the Japanese, which Professor Einbond translated before his death in 1998. Red Moon Press.

Coming Indoors and Other Poems, 1979.

Reader Response Essay

The majority of Professor Einbond’s haiku focus around the zen idea of "nothing special" which deals with the everyday, as opposed to big ideas and grand moments. His haiku portrays moments of simplicity from looking at his daughter’s hair to unfastening his wife’s dress. The beauty of everyday things is very evident in his work.

the thousand colors
in her plain brown hair—
morning sunshine

Often Einbond’s haiku is contrasted with that of Japanese poet, Basho. Perhaps his most well known haiku is usally presented along with Basho’s "old pond" haiku to indicate the opposites contained within the two. Einbond’s version deals with the silence and serenity of the place, whereas Basho’s mirrors action in a seemingly dead place.

an old pond
a frog jumps in
the sound of water

         —Basho

frog pond . . .
a leaf falls in
without a sound

         —Einbond

Finally, as Einbond deals with aspects of simple beauty either with people or in nature, he does have some haiku that combine both. The moon haiku deals with the age-old question of optimism versus pessimism without in nature being too abstract. It represents the principle of humanity in pondering a natural element.

the moon
half full
half empty

 

 

 

haiku conferences haiku courses at Millikin Modern Haiku magazine
speakers & readings haiku competitions at MU student renga
student haiku projects published haiku by students links to haiku web sites
student research on haiku haiku by Millikin students directory of haiku magazines

 

2001, Dr. Randy Brooks• Millikin University
last updated 8/16/01 • about this web site