Skip to content

Favorite Haiku, and Other Collected Essays, by H. F. “Tom” Noyes



H. F. “Tom” Noyes was a mainstay of the early English-language haiku community. His “Favorite Haiku” pieces, published in several of the major dedicated haiku journals, were highly anticipated events, and having a poem selected to appear in one was considered one of the highest honors of the times. This volume gathers all 5 volumes of Favorite Haiku essays Tom published with Red Moon Press at the end of last century, and remain as timely and informative as they did then. These brief essays are a short course in how to read and appreciate haiku, and the gentle and humane approach that was Tom’s forte never goes out of style.

A shop window —
   rare seashells
      without their souls
               — Virginia Egermeier

Occasionally a haiku illustrates a special kind of spontaneous beauty, of both insight and language, its freshness deriving from the unconscious as from a wilderness spring. James Joyce, referring to what he termed an epiphany, states that the “soul” of a thing — its “whatness” — “leaps to us from the vestment of its appearance.” In Egermeier’s haiku we are attuned to the souls of seashells, uncannily, by their very absence.

“With this republication of H. F. Noyes’ Favorite Haiku (first published by Red Moon Press in five volumes from 1998 through 2002), another generation of English-language haiku poets gains renewed access to fundamentals of the form. Noyes (1918–2010) was active in the 1980s, ’90s, and early 2000s as a widely-published and anthologized haijin perhaps best known for his “favorite haiku” pieces. In clear, brief, unaffected prose, he interpreted haiku—most often one, sometimes a pair, very occasionally a trio—with deep feeling for the aesthetic principles and spiritual sensibilities of the East. Noyes closely equated the “haiku way” with Zen Buddhism, yet he recruited other Eastern traditions, as well as the poetics of a Wordsworth or the spirituality of a Thoreau to his meditations. With regard to Sunset … / washing up on the beach / an empty can of paint by Elizabeth St Jacques, Noyes wrote: “What a warming thought
that the paint can’s contents had something to do with the glory of the sunset. How refreshing a haiku in which rationality has no place at all! Robert Spiess quotes Hazrat Inayat Kahn: ‘Reason is the illusion of reality.’” Thus the masterclass in crafting unselfconscious expressions of the intuitive “heartmind.” A little editorial context from Red Moon Press
for the volume as a whole might have been nice, as well as another round of proof-reading, but these are minor quibbles. The index of poets and first lines is a godsend. Recommended.”

Michele Root-Bernstein, Modern Haiku

ISBN: 978-1-947271-81-4
Pages: 286
Size: 6″ x 9″
Binding: perfect softbound
Year Published: 2022


Winner of a Merit Book Award for Best Book of Haiku 2021 (Special Mention)!

Additional information

Weight 0.00 lbs

Sign Up for Updates from Red Moon Press

Back To Top