samuri and monk's final
Writing haiku lately has been comforting as family deaths bring sadness and reflections, so I decided to teach myself more about haiku. At the bookstore last night I found an amazing book about a practice I had no idea existed, the practice of writing a death poem as you die or shortly before. Japanese Death poems written by Zen monks and Haiku Poets on the verge of death, compiled by Yoel Hoffman, talks about poetic forms as well as the cultural attitudes toward both death and poetry over centuries. I can hardly put the book down with it's focus on creativity at end of life moments. It has hundreds of death poems with short descriptions about the author telling the story of the poet's death.