Lin Yu-Ting

I found Lin Yu-Ting at Google+ haiku. There are many people who contribute at the site but Lin was the only one (so far) whose poems compelled me to invite her for an interview.

1. Please share a haiku you have written.Dicere

the stillness between
rain drops dripping off leaves
a cuckoo is heard

2. Why did you pick this one?

I wrote this, one rainy spring day. It was truly an unforgettable moment that moved me so much I tried to write it down to share with others. I hope the reader can feel both the calm after the rain and the vitality of spring.

It may also serve as an example of how to juxtapose two images in one of three common techniques applied in haiku writing: comparison, contrast, and association. The idea of comparison is showing how two different things are similar or share similar aspects. The technique of contrast creates tension between contrasting elements such as movement and inactivity, stability and change, nature and humanity. Association involves connection, showing how different things relate to one another, and together they complete and fulfill each other as one particular event.

3. How many have you written? How often do you write? What inspires you?

I write randomly. I haven’t kept track of how many I have written. I have to admit that it requires practice to master the skill of excellent writing. However, as far as I am concerned, being able to recognize and fully appreciate the “haiku moment” which brings catharsis is more important than the amount of writing. It is also the essence and one of the great purposes of writing/reading haiku. You can find the ‘ah-ha’ moment of enlightenment hidden in the small moments of our daily life when you see it in a new way. Paying more attention to the world around us is the first step, and then let the poems come when they will.

What inspires me most is the beauty of nature, which I live within but most of time I have failed to notice. Reading and writing haiku helps me to reconnect myself with nature and the environment.

4. Why do you write haiku? How did you get started?

My first haiku in English language was a response to one of Neil Gaiman’s haiku posted on Twitter, and ever since then I started to write haiku and share them on Twitter and some other social network communities. I write haiku because I am addicted to its beauty of simplicity and how it points out a way leading to purification or satori in the form of poetry. Obviously it is deeply rooted in Zen tradition. I am a Buddhist, and it is part of my culture and upbringing.

5. Do you work with other forms related to haiku, like renga, senryu, haiga, tanka, etc.?

So far I write only haiku and senryu. I cooperate with my sister-in-law on haiga to be collected for publication in an edited e-book.

6. What advice would you give to aspiring haiku writers?

Awakening the reader’s imagination and then leaving space enough for the reader to do the imagining and go deeper into possible meanings is a key feature in all genres of haiku. While working on haiku, do not attempt to tell the reader your thoughts, beliefs, or judgments. Use objective sensory imagery instead of abstract ideas as aid to achieve that goal.

Let me share one of my favorite quotes about haiku:

The primary purpose of reading and writing haiku is sharing moments of our lives that have moved us, pieces of experience and perception that we offer or receive as gifts.  At the deepest level, this is one of the great purposes of all art, and especially of literature.”             —William J. Higginson

Finally, I would like to suggest, read lots of haiku, particularly the ones written by old masters, such as Basho, Buson, Issa, and Shiki, and those published on leading haiku journals, like Frog PondMariposaModern Haiku, and Haiku Canada Review. Join a haiku group, and most important of all, write to share with others. It has been said that a haiku is not complete until someone reads it.

7. Where can people read your haiku?

At my blog Other Side of the Moon, or @DicereBabe  on Twitter.



  • Belly Peterson  On July 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

    This was a fine interview. I especially liked the poem that was shared.

  • Zenon Zolek  On November 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    Excellent answers, written with great thought
    A master in the making

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