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Norman Darlington

A Journey to India

Simply Haiku
March/April, 2004, v2n2

Norman Darlington also has a haibun in this issue.

Norman Darlington was born close to half a century ago on an underpopulated island off the Atlantic coast of Europe. He has spent much of the intervening period working and travelling in Africa, the Middle East and southern Asia, but has now returned to his native Ireland where he lives among the hills, forests and rivers that provide constant inspiration for his work in a number of haikai genres, including haibun and senryu, and most recently photo-haiga.

He has grown bananas and avocadoes, and even coaxed tomatoes from the desert sand. He financed his way through university by running Ireland's only tofu workshop, while studying ancient Semitic languages. His training as linguist has given him an interest in the development of haiku in other languages, and he is active in the Dutch HaikuKern list, and a member of the Haiku Club of Slovenia.

darlingtonHe first encountered haiku in the 1980's when, working as a translator, he came upon an essay on the problems of translating Basho's furuike ya. Having had any innate love of poetry driven out of him at school, the chord struck by this encounter with haiku was both powerful and long-lasting.

While the haibun and haiku of Kobayashi Issa have exerted a fundamental influence on Norman's artistic development, ultimately it is the philosophy and art of Taneda Santoka, with his marrying of the spiritual with the earthy and mundane, and his total identity of life and art, which form the single most important influence on Norman's work.

More of Norman's haiga and some haibun can be seen here: