BI. Amy Lowell

11. Twenty-Four Hokku on a Modern Theme. Poetry 18 (June 1921): 124-27.

  Reprinted in What’s O’clock.

In the years before 1920 Lowell experimented at length with Japanese subjects, themes, and motifs, but beyond limiting the length of her ‘hokku-like’ verse did not attempt to derive form from Japanese prosody. This work, however, reverses the equation. It is free of Japanese content but abides rather strictly by the 5-7-5 syllable pattern of classical Japanese verse, and maintains the form through twenty-four three-line stanzas. Harmer (A51) suggests an ‘inspiration’ for the poems in Fletcher’s Japanese Prints (BH7), a plausible point given Lowell’s acknowledgement of a debt to that work in a letter to Fletcher of the previous year (19). Reprinted in 12 and 17.






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