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Frogpond 45.3 • 2022

Museum of Haiku
Literature Award

Haiku & Senryu

Essay 1 - Coyote

Essay 2 - Haunted Haiku



Book Reviews

Haiku Society of America



by Charles Trumbull

Coyote: from a Field Guide to North American Haiku
(complete PDF version)

Here is a sample excerpt from the opening page of this essay:

Among the mammals that commonly feature in North American haiku, one of the most popular is the coyote, both because of its fascinating lifestyle and because of the imaginative place it occupies in Native American mythology. Encyclopædia Britannica introduces the coyote as follows:

coyote, (Canis latrans), also called prairie wolf or brush wolf, New World member of the dog family (Canidae) that is smaller and more lightly built than the wolf . . . . The coyote, whose name is derived from the Aztec coyotl, is found from Alaska southward into Central America but especially on the Great Plains . . . .

Coyotes mate between January and March, and females usually bear four to seven pups after a gestation of 58–65 days. Births occur in an underground burrow, usually a hole dug by badgers or by the parent coyotes. Most dens are on hillsides with good drainage (to avoid flooding during rainstorms) and where visibility allows parents to watch the surroundings for danger . . . .[Both] parents feed and care for the pups until they are fully grown and independent, usually at six to nine months of age. Young typically disperse in the fall, but some older siblings will help raise younger offspring, and family groups may remain together and form packs during winter.

Coyotes are territorial, and both members of a breeding pair defend the territory against other coyotes. Territories are marked with urine and feces, and it is believed that howling may serve to indicate occupancy of a territory. The size of coyote territories varies among habitats and also depends on its abundance of prey. Most territories, however, range from 10 to 40 square km (4 to 15 square miles).2

What poets usually notice first about the coyote is that distinctive long, wailing howl—as captured in what is perhaps the most famous coyote haiku of all:

[essay continues for several more pages] . . .

. . .

Trumbull, Charles. "Coyote: from a Field Guide to North American Haiku." Frogpond 45.3, Autumn, 2022, 142-160.

This excerpt inclues the first page of the essay: page 142. The complete essay includes pages 142-160. To read the complete essay, click on the link to the PDF version:

Coyote: from a Field Guide to North American Haiku
(complete PDF version)