Sunday, February 14, 2016

A Full Afternoon of Remembrance

This is an infrared photograph I took of the Markham House,
a few years ago, before the new paint job 
covered the beautiful yellow.
The poet Edwin Markham lived in this house 
near downtown San Jose. Later, the house was moved 
to the History Park because of its historical value.

The San Jose Poetry Center and the Yuki Teikei Haiku Society
have an agreement with the San Jose Parks Department 
to hold scheduled poetry-related events 
and literary open houses for the public here.
In the upstairs bedrooms our volunteers maintain 
select libraries on American Poetry and on Haiku. 

YTHS holds several meetings a year at Markham House, 
sometimes to walk about the park and write haiku; 
sometimes for other topics. This afternoon 
we held a meeting in memory of our members 
who have passed away. Since YTHS has
now been in existence for more than forty years
many of the newer members were never acquainted with
the work of earlier members.

Before the meeting, Roger Abe and Clysta Seney 
(our haiku librarian) worked to list those members,
and locate examples of their poems in the library's holdings.
Each of thirteen members was introduced by one of us.
The presenter (and others present) also shared other memories
as appropriate. Roger had done Internet searches and brought
several obituaries. In preparation, I had my photos of most
of these members printed 8x10. These photos were held up
during the discussion of each person, 
and will now be kept in the Haiku Library.

All this preparation resulted in a truly memorable 
(and deeply moving) meeting.

We heard excellent haiku, some tanka and haibun, and got to
remember our dear friends. I might have taken better notes
(and copied down some haiku)
if I had thought I would be posting here about this meeting.
I was deeply moved by the fellowship and sharing,
and decided to post about this meeting on my drive home.

Here is a list of the people we remembered, together
with the name of the person who presented the remembrance. 
I am still wrapt in tender memories tonight.

Pat Shelley (1997)  ---June Hopper Hymas
Mary Hill  ---Ann Bendixen
Emile Waldteufel (2000) & Eugenie Walteufel ---Carolyn Fitz
Hank Dunlap (2005)  ---Alison Woolpert
Jerry Kilbride (2005)  ---Carol Steele
David Priebe  (2006)  ---Eleanor Carolan
Kay F. Anderson  (2007)   ---Ann Bendixen
Jim "Ouzel" Arnold   (2007)   ---Bill Peckham
Paul O. Williams   (2009)   ---Clysta Seney
D. Claire Gallagher   (2009)   ---Carolyn Fitz
Beth Stevenson Brewster   (2011)   ---Roger Abe
Tei Matsushita-Scott   (2013)   ---Carol Steele
John Schipper   ---Roger Abe

The entire afternoon was devoted to loving remembrance of the
haiku poets who are no longer here. I did not expect that this would be such a powerful and moving afternoon. Thank you, Roger and Clysta for all your work!!

Editor's note about this blog: Facebook keeps reminding me that  people (just not as many people) are still looking at the haiku memories that were posted here last year. So I have decided to continue making intermittent posts, like this one. JHH