Pink blossom on a branch

Dark Angels Note 172

Dearest Friends

Welcome back to our Friday Note – our weekly collection of writerly thoughts.



Today in 1828 Kobayashi Yatorō passed away (15 June 1763 – 5 January 1828). Under his pen name Issa, meaning “cup of tea”, he was a Japanese poet known for writing haiku.

As a child, he was encouraged to write haiku to express what he was feeling inside. He wrote to express sorrow and solidarity.

He is said to have written over 20, 000 haiku during his lifetime. Many show considerable empathy with small creatures and many mention ‘dew’ as a symbol for the transience of human life.



Time and place, seasonal change, economy of language, explore what makes Issa’s haiku so wonderful on this podcast.

Listen to Episode 62: Kobayashi Issa, Haiku on the Poetry For All podcast.



Only a few days ago we welcomed in a new year. Something Issa reflected on in his haiku, New Year’s Day.

Try writing your own. Can you create a haiku that captures something significant for you about the start of this new year? It could be something you observed about the day itself, about your hopes for the year ahead or reflections on the one we leave behind.

We’d love to see what you come up with if you’d like to share.



Keep sending us any poems, writings, links and writerly whatnots that you’d like to share with the wider Dark Angels family. We love to read them.





Weekly Tuesday Gatherings

Our weekly Gatherings are back on Tuesday 9 January 2024.

Join us again for a reflective hour of reading, writing and communing led by Neil Baker. Everyone is welcome – from the Dark Angels community and beyond. We meet at 7pm UK time. To join us, click here on the night. There’s no need to register in advance.


Be well, keep reading, keep writing and know that we’re always here.

From everyone at Dark Angels




Photo by Jelleke Vanooteghem on Unsplash