L. A. Davidson (31 July 1917 – 18 July 2007)
L. A. (Laura Agnes) Davidson was one of the most honoured and respected American haiku poets of her time. She was born on 31 July 1917 and grew up in the wide open spaces of Montana. She enjoyed learning and reciting poetry and ballads from a very early age. She gained scholarships towards higher education and college and later graduated with a B.A. in Journalism from the University of Minnesota.
Agnes enjoyed writing short stories and poetry and during her extensive travels through Europe and Africa she proved to be an excellent correspondent communicating with other poets from far and wide who wished to learn more about the ancient poetry of haiku. Agnes was first acquainted with haiku in 1966, when a friend gave her a copy of Harold G. Henderson's Haiku in English and shortly thereafter Agnes began experimenting with the form. Three years later she had her first haiku published in Haiku Headlights. She considered her haiku to be “a personal journal” written from observations and specific moments of her life.
Agnes was an active member of the Haiku Society of America since its founding in 1968 and she has promoted haiku for many years. She served as a vice president in 1976, a Membership/Subscription Secretary in 1979 and 1981-82, a treasurer for 1989-90 and was also a long-time unofficial historian for the society. Agnes died just two weeks before her 90th birthday on 18 July 2007 from a massive stroke and heart attack.
L. A. Davidson’s publications include hundreds of haiku in magazines, journals and anthologies and she is the author of three books:
The Shape of the Tree: a first collection of haiku and senryu moments of New York City life, New York (Wind Chimes, Glen Burnie MD, 1982; rpt DLT Assoc. 1992, 1996),
Jamaica Moments (DLT Associates, Miami FL, 2002),
Bird song more and more (Swamp Press, Northfield MA, 2003, rpt 2007).
Selection of L. A. Davidson’s haiku:
an August wind
scattering on hot pavement
brown sycamore leaves
a single pine
at the crest of the ridge
branches all one side
across the garden
in the dusk, a firefly
... a darting child
in winter storm
his own deep footprints
closing behind him
buying a bowl
of white chrysanthemums
the morning he leaves
sunshine on a snowman
in the empty park
on the shore alone
as the ebbing tide
takes the moon with it
Davidson, L.A., Editor. Cicada: A Selection from Volume 2, Nos. 3&$ (1978). Haiku Canada Selections. Broadside.
Davidson, L.A., Bird Song More and More. Northfield, MA: Swamp Press, 2003.
Davidson, L.A. These Few Block: A Posthumous Collection of the Haiku of L.A. (Agnes) Davidson. Winchester, VA: Red Moon Press, 2008.
Davidson, L.A. The Shape of the Tree (Wind Chimes, Glen Burnie MD, 1982).
Bruce Ross. Haiku Moment: An Anthology of Contemporary North American Haiku, (Tuttle Publishing 1997).
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