Haiku by Richard Stevenson in Canada


On June 1, 2010, we received an e-mail from Richard Stevenson in Canada,  whose subject is Haikai Submission to Akita International Haiku Network site.

He says in his e-mail:

Greetings from Southern Alberta!

Thought I’d send along a few things.  ( A bio note is included at the end):

 Bio Note

Richard Stevenson lives in southern Alberta, Canada, and teaches English and Creative Writing at Lethbridge College.  The most recent of his 24 published books are Wiser Pills (Frontenac House, 2008), Tidings of Magpies (Spotted Cow Press, 2008), and The Emerald Hour (Ekstasis Editions, 2008) and a first collection of tanka and kyoka, Windfall Apples (Athabasca University Press, 2010).

 I have been interested in The Emerald Hour among his published books.


  Part of Its introduction is as follows:

In The Emerald Hour, poet Richard Stevenson returns to the Japanese forms of haiku and tanka, seemingly the simplest yet most precise of poetic forms. This is his third book of Japanese forms published by Ekstasis Editions. In the first of the series, Hot Flashes, explored Stevenson’s experience of living and teaching in Africa, using haiku to capture the essence of that colourful world. In A Charm of Finches the poet returned home to Alberta, a land more familiar but no less exotic when viewed through the lens of haiku. Now in The Emerald Hour Richard Stevenson focuses clearly on nature, the traditional subject of Japanese forms. From settings such as idyllic Henderson Lake, shown in evocative photographs by Ellen McArthur, to interior British Columbia and hometown of Lethbridge, Stevenson, offers monuments to moments, even Basho would enjoy.


young robin chortles —
the kitten’s gray flanks ripple
in waves in response

幼いコマドリがクスクス笑う ―





dog days of summer —

do I water the plants

or write a haiku?

夏の土用 ―





harvest moon —

my wife’s keister competes

between the sheets

中秋の名月 ―





Got a metal Christ

on a sculpted cross

in the new restaurant.

Gotta fire pole

centre stage!






 roadie puts a

tambourine on the

skeletal sculpture

of Christ on a cross

in a fire hall restaurant!








most blossoms bolted —

the day lilies’ megaphones

announce themselves

たいていの花が早咲きの花を咲かせた ―





apples red-cheeked —

a cabbage white rummages

among the leaves

赤色のほおをしたリンゴ ―





firepole centre stage —

what was once a fire hall

is now a restaurant!

火柱の中央の舞台 ―



On June 22, I received another e-mail from Richard Stevenson as follows:

Dear Hidenori,

It would be an honour to appear on your web site in Japanese translation.  Thank you so much!  Of course I’m happy with your suggestions.  Indeed, if you’re interested, I might even be able to get my photographer friend, who did the beautiful black and white photos for The Emerald Hour, to send along some photos of our lovely Nikka Yuko Japanese Gardens — a gift of the Japanese to the citizens of my fair city of Lethbridge ( See http://www.nikkayuko.com/ ).

You might want to go online and have a look at the place.  It’s one of the most beautiful sites in the city, a place I like to go often in the summer months when I’m not teaching.  I’ll be launching my new book, a collection of Tanka and Kyoka, Autumn Windfalls (Athabasca University Press, 2010) there in a few weeks. 🙂

Thanks for all your support. 🙂


Here I would like to refer to the Nika Yuko Japanese Garden a little and present some photos of the garden to you.

The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden offers you an unforgettable experience, combining the beauty of nature in a serene setting. From the first spring blossom to the final autumn leaf, the Garden is an oasis of tranquility. Step through the entrance gate, leave the bustle of everyday city life behind, and refresh your senses. A host or hostess in traditional Japanese clothing will greet you and highlight the Garden’s many features, or give you a guided tour.

Established during Canada’s Centennial in 1967, Nikka Yuko was built to recognize contributions made by citizens of Japanese ancestry to the multi-cultural community of Lethbridge, Alberta, and as a symbol of international friendship. Its name was created from the Japanese words Ni (from Nihon meaning Japan), ka from Kanada or Canada, and Yuko, which translates as “friendship” to mean “Japan-Canada friendship”.

Last of all, I show you some Japanese translations of parts of the introduction of  The Emerald Hour.

  『エメラルドの時間』 の紹介の一部の和訳は次の通りです。  

The Emerald Hour(エメラルドの時間)』 の中で, 詩人リチャード・スティブンソンは俳句と短歌の日本の詩型に帰っている、見た目では、詩型の中で最も単純ではあるが、最も明確なものである。 これは、エクシスタス版で出版された日本の詩型の第3番目の本である。そのシリーズの最初では『Hot Flashes,(暑いきらめき』は、アフリカでスティブンソンが生活し、教えた体験をくまなく調べ、その色彩に富んだ世界の本質をとらえるために俳句を使用した。 『A Charm of Finches (フィンチの魅力)』では、詩人は故郷のアルバータに戻ってきたが、俳句のレンズを通して眺めるともっと親しみを持てて以前に劣らず魅惑的な所となっている。この度、『The Emerald Hour(エメラルドの時間)』 の中でリチャード・スティブンソンは明らかなことに日本の詩型の伝統的な主題である自然に焦点を当てている。エレン・マッカーサーによる自然の牧歌性を呼び起こさせられるような写真に示されているが、田園詩的なヘンダーソン湖のような背景から、ブリティッシュ・コロンビアの内地や故郷であるレスブリッジにいたるまで、芭蕉でさえ楽しむだろうと思われるように、素晴らしい様々な感動の瞬間に記念碑をささげている。

日加友好庭園(The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden)について 

― その一部の和訳 ― 

日加友好庭園(The Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden)はあなたがたに忘れがたい経験を提供し、落ち着いた背景の中で自然の美を組み合わせています。 最初の春の花に始まり、最終の秋の紅葉にいたるまで、庭園は静寂のオアシスである。


1967年カナダの百周年祭の期間に日加友好が確立され、庭園は日本人を先祖とする市民たちによるアルバータのレスブリッジの多文化共同体社会への貢献を認識するために、そして国際友好の象徴として造園されました。 庭園の名前は(Japan を意味する日本から取った)日本語の‘日(Ni’とKanada or Canada から取った加 (ka) を合わせて命名されました、そして Yukoは日本とカナダの友好という意味の”friendship”(友好)として翻訳されます。  

I sincerely hope that you will visit the Nikka Yuko Japanese Garden, and that you will write haiku or tanka there.

I also hope that you will enjoy reading the works of poetry by Richard Stevenson. 

The next posting ‘Haiku by Vishnu P Kapoor in India’ appears on July 3.

― Hidenori  Hiruta 

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