John Brandi

Seeding the Cosmos

Collected Haiku

6 x 7 inches


248 pages



A student looking at modern haiku for the first time often asks, “why does haiku look like it does today? What happened to the rules?” A simple answer, to quote Zen teacher Joko Beck, is: “A good practice is always undermining itself.” Continent to continent, culture to culture, language to language, haiku has made itself new. During this transformation, practitioners parted ways with rules that worked best for Japanese speakers. New languages, geographies, climates, and cultural environments triggered new approaches. The essential core ideas of Basho’s time are with us, though. Keep it brief, let it jump, follow the natural world through its seasons, but do not forget the seasons of the heart.

John Brandi
from the Afterword


John Brandi has been faithful to the craft of poetry, painting, journaling, and gardening for most of his life. He is an ardent traveler, giving readings of his poetry and exhibiting his visual art at home and abroad. A recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Poetry, he has been invited to lecture on the practice of haiku in Ottawa, Canada, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Los Angeles, California, and Chandigarh, India. John Brandi’s archives (1963-1999) are in the Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley. Complete collections of his books and broadsides may be found at: the University of California, the University at Buffalo, Brown University, and the Chavez History Library, Santa Fe NM.