Poem of the Month: February 2015 – Hitch Haiku, Gary Snyder

Poem of the MonthThis brief poem, from a larger work by Gary Snyder called Hitch Haiku (written in the 1970s, so you can infer context) has been a “mentor poem” for me in recent months. It companions me through my day and offers its wise guidance when I am at a crossroads, in a frantic stew of busyness, or find myself avoiding a simple task that would make a difference. May it also guide you in this shortest month!

Poet Gary Snyder

Poet Gary Snyder


After weeks of watching the roof leak    
I fixed it tonight
by moving a single board    

–Gary Snyder, from Hitch Haiku    

(c) in name of poet

Journal prompts:

•  What are you avoiding?

•  Write about a situation that feels complex or out of your control. As you write, stay alert for any small shift that is within your power that you could implement starting right away.

•  Make a list of simple household or workplace chores that would take 1-5 minutes to complete. Set aside an hour to work uninterrupted. Check items off your list.

•  Sometimes simple, elegant solutions don’t reveal themselves until you been in the dark for a long time. Write about a time when something became suddenly obvious to you. What did you do next? How did it turn out?



One Response to Poem of the Month: February 2015 – Hitch Haiku, Gary Snyder

  1. Carol Roberts May 31, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

    I used Gary’s poem to teach haiku to some of my residents in a rehab facility. Most of them had fun with it and the one woman who could not write with dominant hand allowed another resident-friend to write hers down. I actually created a poem myself the night before and wrote it with my left hand to prove to them that they could do it. I would recommend this activity. (We didn’t really talk about the subject of putting things off–maybe this will come.)

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