out of water . . .
out of itself.
A. Virgilio was born in Camden, New Jersey, on June 28, 1928. After
serving in the Navy during World War II, he began his career as
a radio announcer. It wasnt until the sixties did Virgilio
make an appearance in the world of Haiku. His first publication
was during 1963 in American Haiku.
Since then he has created a constant evolving style that has made
him one of the most widely known American haiku poets. After a review
on National Public Radio, it was then Virgilio gained popularity
as a poet. It was this moment that Virgilio was credited for exposing
haiku, a non-traditional style of writing, to the United States.
Critics, through the years, have said that Virgilios ability
to connect with individuals from many types of societies, and doing
it with ease, is the cause of his success as a haiku poet. Nicholas
Virgilio died on January 3rd, 1989.
the 70s Virgilio made a drastic style reformation in his writing.
Found in a memorial card honoring him, it was written ". .
. he probed its (Camden, NJ) pain with a powerful pen and mined
kernels of universal truth in the oddest places. He found gems in
palsied hands and polluted streams, in raveling neighborhoods and
corner prostitutes. Hopes in the hardest rock and lovely lilies
in ponds of sadness." It is in these sentences we see the variety
in Nicholas Virgilios poetry. But, what caused it is what
interests me. What would cause a man to walk the unbeaten path of
non-traditional haiku, unaware it would turn him into the most famous
American haiku poet.
In the beginning of his career Virgilio adapted the typical writing
style of the illusion. Creating an illusion he was able to give
us in image of something that couldnt possibly be. Shortly
after he followed the majority and wrote using the Zen traditions.
Haiku, Black Moss Press, 1989.
profile of haiku writer, Nicholas Virgilio, was researched, written
and created by Darrin Thurman.
through the entire profile, or jump to any section:
accomplishments include a long-standing member of the Haiku Society
of America as well as being the co-director of the First International
Haiku Festival. He participated in establishing the Walt Whitman
Center for Arts and Humanities.
spring love affair:
the old upright Remington
wears a new ribbon
above haiku is about Virgilios typewriter. Nick Virgilio thought
this is where he did his best poetry. This haiku is rather interesting
in the way that the author tied himself into his writing while still
observing something. I found this very affective. Including himself,
only by observation, he was able to let the typewriter be the center
the Vietnam War Nick Virgilio entered in a new style of writing.
This would be best described as the "reality" period.
After losing his brother in the war, Virgilio found himself spending
much of his time writing and reflecting on the tragedy. It is thought
that this writer who once transported us to an imaginary world of
lilies could only write about true life, mostly dark images. He
continued to write in this style for the remaining of his life.
the shadow of the bugler
slips into the grave
hearing his laugh
in my laughter
my last journey
alone on the road at dawn:
first sight of the sea
last haiku I chose to share is one that helps give a closing to
Nick Virgilios life. One of reflection, and quite possibly