Mar 01 2010

Gabriel Rosenstock – to fully explore

Published by at 8:22 am under Poetry

to fully explore
by Gabriel Rosenstock

to fully explore
      a rustic rose
            the frantic bee disappears

— from Haiku: The Gentle Art of Disappearing, by Gabriel Rosenstock

/ Photo by Berverly & Pack /

It’s been too long since we last featured a haiku by the contemporary Irish poet Gabriel Rosenstock. I had planned to select a haiku of his on the moon — in honor of this past weekend’s full moon — but this meditation on the bee’s journey into the heart of the rose just grabbed me. Perhaps I’m getting impatient for warmer weather and the warm scent of roses.

I just love the layers of meaning we can read into these three lines. The more deeply we explore this haiku, the frantic mind, like the bee, disappears…

Gabriel Rosenstock, Gabriel Rosenstock poetry, Secular or Eclectic poetry Gabriel Rosenstock

Ireland (1949 – )
Secular or Eclectic
Primal/Tribal/Shamanic : Celtic

Gabriel Rosenstock is the author/translator of over 100 books, including 12 volumes of poetry in Irish and a number of volumes of bilingual haiku. A member of Aosdana, the Irish Academy of Arts and Letters, he has given readings in Europe, the US, India, Australia and Japan. He has translated into Irish the selected poems of, among others, Francisco X. Alarcon, S. Heaney, G. Grass, W M Roggeman, Said, M. Augustin, P. Huchel, G. Trakl, G. Heym, H. Schertenleib and his Irish-language versions of haiku masters Issa, Buson, Shiki, Santoka and others are much loved in his native country.

The selections form Uttering Her Name are addressed to Dar Óma, a Celtic goddess, daughter of OGHMA who gave the gift of writing to the Celts. The communication to Dar Óma at times seems addressed to an impersonal God(dess) and, at others, to someone immediate, felt, touched.

Gabriel Rosenstock describes the work as neo-bhakti and, indeed, it has a strong feel of some of the great bhakti poetry, like that of Mirabai.

Gabriel Rosenstock can be contacted at:

More poetry by Gabriel Rosenstock

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10 responses so far

10 Responses to “Gabriel Rosenstock – to fully explore”

  1. Sergeyon 01 Mar 2010 at 10:51 am

    I am really grateful for what you do. Being busy this time I can only read your site and enjoy it. The name is correct.
    With kind regards,

  2. Rena Navonon 01 Mar 2010 at 11:53 am

    A friend of mine who lost a family member dared write about him. Her words were challenged by her loss, and yet she wrote them as if a description of her sorrow could be adequate to it. Unlike the bee that is incapable of understanding the flower and leaves itself out of the picture.
    Maybe the flower is overwhelming, too much to even try to understanding, subsuming everything.
    The mountain should precede the moles, as the petals engulf the busy bee, too frantic to explore the rose.
    Is Rosenstock encouraging us to learn from this faint trace in nature because we ourselves are so faint against the texture of the enormous heavens?
    I think he is teaching us to give G-d’s mercy a chance to shine alone and that this will pay many dividends and save unnecessary human effort as a result.

  3. martinaon 01 Mar 2010 at 4:06 pm

    Dear Ivan,
    Thanks for that. My heart has been so heavy with many difficult things lately, that it feels thicker than the full blown rose so wet with rain that the bee can’t find its way in or out. It is good to think of the many layers of meaning, and try to find the hidden doors out into the star-filled universe! I had not known about this poet, and am looking forward to reading more Irish haiku! The moonset on Saturday morning was as stunning as I have ever seen it– breathtakingly lovely, and worth being out at 5:30 am to see it! It reminded me of the opening chapter of the Prince of Tides.
    Thanks for the personalized messages,
    Fondly, martina

  4. Anahitaon 01 Mar 2010 at 11:15 pm

    Yes to truly walk into the Eternal not so much as leaving a trail of ash behind……
    I loved todays poem it’s profound wisdom in just 3 lines, can take a lifetime of pondering on.
    Thanks Ivan for this gem.

  5. Sharonon 02 Mar 2010 at 6:35 am

    Yes, you do have my name correct!!
    Here is the first thought I had after reading this simple and powerful haiku.

    It made me think about how people quietly disappear as they live their lives. They get lost in love. in their own emotions and the everyday happenings of just being. But then to get involved in living, we almost have to become one with the thing called life … and lose a part of ourselves … disappearing …

  6. chrison 02 Mar 2010 at 10:29 am

    you have my name correct.
    thank you for what you do.
    i too am like the bee these days. My life is the flower and i am in the process of getting lost in self for all the right reasons this go around.
    i love poetry and the written word. I am not educated on different types and styles so much though.
    I have often thought haiku is so wonderfully simple. I like that. It lets me explore It like the bee.
    Again, thank you for what you do.

  7. Patricia McCaronon 02 Mar 2010 at 10:30 am

    Hi, I have been meaning to reply so many
    times. Yes, that is my name. Loved
    all the poems and this Haiku today is
    wonderful. Have been reading the Irish
    poet John O’Donohue who died in Jan. at
    only 52. Thank you so much, Love, Patricia

  8. nasihaon 03 Mar 2010 at 10:28 am

    hi Ivan,
    i loved the three lines, it brings peace to the wanderer in me…

    my names fine.
    thank you so much

  9. Subhan Alion 04 Mar 2010 at 6:15 am

    R/Sir, It is so. It is my name. I am enjoying your efforts since long time. Once it happened that first letter S of my name missed, which may create confusion………Sorry for this mistake on my part.
    The short poem is heart-touching.
    …..Subhan Ali, Hindon Vihar Ghaziabad UP India

  10. Angela Dohertyon 10 Oct 2020 at 12:15 pm

    Hi Gabriel I hope you are well. Many years ago you came to my school in Carrick on Suir and blew my mind explaining beautifully about Haiku which I have never forgotten. Thank you for that. However the actual Haiku was as gaeilge and it would be great if you could send it to me. The translation in English was “sound of a bell …. Thpusand bees without honey” thanks x

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