Dear Haijin, visitors and travelers,
Welcome a the last week of our TRC month May 2019. I hope you all have had a wonderful week and a wonderful weekend. I had a very busy week, so I was glad that I had taken a week off. But today we are going on with our TRC month. This month I challenge you to create Tan Renga with a given haiku by classical and modern haiku poets.
Today I have chosen a nice haiku by a not so well known haiku poet, Raymond Roseliep (1917-1983). Let me give you first a short overview of his life:
Raymond Roseliep (1917 – 1983) was a poet and contemporary master of the English haiku and a Catholic priest. He has been described as "the John Donne of Western haiku."
Born on August 11, 1917, in Farley, Iowa, to John Albert Roseliep (1874-1939) and Anna Elizabeth Anderson (1884-1967). In 1939 he graduated from Loras College with a Bachelor of Arts, in 1948 he received a Master of Arts in English from Catholic University of America, and in 1954 he received a Doctor of Philosophy in English Literature from Notre Dame University. He was ordained, June 12, 1943, at St. Raphael’s Cathedral, Dubuque, Iowa.
For Raymond Roseliep the two most sacred themes were creation and love, so it was only natural that he would explore both in his haiku. In an interview first published in 1979, Roseliep was asked how a priest could be writing such evocative, sometimes erotic, love poetry. “To talk about that,” Roseliep said, “I should return for a moment to that Catholic-poetry period of mine, and I can briefly tell you how it was inevitable that I needed a fresh theme. In those early days I was writing about the Mass, the sacraments, parish experiences, religious encounters of all dimensions — in people, nature, anywhere.” He added: “I needed a new outlook. I knew that religious poetry and love poetry are the hardest of all to write, and since I hadn’t attained full success in one, I would try the other. And I have been exploring the love theme ever since. It’s wonderful. It keeps me alive and young and remembering; and always with feelings that are deepest and most sacred in all of us.”(Delta Epsilon Sigma Bulletin24:4 (December 1979);A Roseliep Retrospective: Poems & Other Words By & About Raymond Roseliep (Ithaca, N.Y.: Alembic Press, 1980), 13.)
He won the Haiku Society of America Harold G. Henderson award in 1977 and 1982. In 1981, Roseliep's haiku sequence, “The Morning Glory”, appeared on over two thousand buses in New York City:
from the heart out
on its own
to get hibiscus red
the artist eats the flower