This is the second book of haiku published in a picture book for children that I have read. For someone like myself who has written and published hund...moreThis is the second book of haiku published in a picture book for children that I have read. For someone like myself who has written and published hundreds of haiku, it is a fascinating turn of events. Fortunately, the author knows something of the history of haiku and does not stick to the 5-7-5 format. Most modern haiku poets writing in English do not subscribe to the 5-7-5 format. Muth does set his haiku within nature and the four seasons which is one of the most important requirements for writing traditional haiku.
Haiga is a Japanese art form that combines haiku with painting. Many Japanese haiku poets also painted. Each page in this book is a haiga. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haiga
Here are some of my favorite haiku in the book.
found! in my Coat pocket a missing button the wind's surprise
Dance through cold rain then go home to hot soup
Quiet and still long enough for birds to make nests?
killing a bug afterward feeling alone and Sad
becoming so quiet Zero sound only breath
Muth also works a letter of the alphabet into each haiku. I recommend the book to children and to poets.(less)
The value of this collection of haiku is that it tells the story of haiku written in English over the last one hundred years. If you are a haiku poet...moreThe value of this collection of haiku is that it tells the story of haiku written in English over the last one hundred years. If you are a haiku poet and have read and studied haiku then I recommend that you first read the essay by Jim Kacian at the end of the book. It is superb! This anthology of English-language haiku is edited by Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland and Allan Burns. To put the book together, they obviously have read thousands of haiku published in the haiku magazines in the the last 60 years. They document the growth and changes in haiku through the work they have selected.
The anthology begins with some of the shorter poems of Ezra Pound and includes some well-known poets and writers like Wallace Stevens, Amy Lowell, Langston Hughes, e. e. cummings, Allen Ginsberg, Gary Snyder, and Jack Kerouac. Most of these poets dabbled in haiku but their real work was elsewhere. Then the anthology shifts to early haiku poets like Cor van den Heuvel who is best known for his anthology called The Haiku Anthology. The book is still the best collection of haiku written in English. It is the book that I would recommend to anyone interested in reading haiku.
For a period of 7 years between 1975 to 1982, I wrote and published more than 100 haiku in more than 20 haiku magazines. I also read the haiku of many of the poets in these pages. One of my favorites is James W. Hackett. I own several of his small books. Others who I read include: Nick Virgilio and Robert Spiess. Spiess was the editor of Modern Haiku, one of the best haiku magazines and one of the oldest that is still published. I was fortunate to have dinner with the man one evening in Madison, WI where he lived. I also remember reading the haiku of John Wills, Rod Willmot, Virginia Brady Young, Michael McClintock, Geraldine Clinton Little, Janice Bostok, Alan Pizzarelli, Elizabeth Searle Lamb, Marlene Mountain, George Swede, Ruth Yarrow, Gunther Klinge, Peggy Willis Lyles, Alexis Rotella, James Kirkup, and Lee Gurga. I own two hardback collections of Raymond Roseliep, the Iowa priest who wrote haiku: Rabbit in the Moon and Listen to Light. Lorraine Ellis Harr, who has three haiku in this anthology, published my first haiku in her magazine, Dragonfly. I also met Randy Brooks who published several of my haiku in his magazine, High/Coo. So reading this book for me was like taking a trip down memory lane. A special thanks to Jim Kacian, Philip Rowland and Allan Burns.(less)
This is a fun book to read. While these short poems are not traditional haiku, they fall in a category of modern senryu. I laughed at each and every p...moreThis is a fun book to read. While these short poems are not traditional haiku, they fall in a category of modern senryu. I laughed at each and every poem. They are full of insight and humor. The book also contains the illustrations of Peter Reynolds. This is also a good book to read to children. The very first poem:
The wind and I play tug-of-war with my new kite. The wind is winning.
Here is another poem, I loved:
Icicles dangle, begging to be broken off for a short sword fight. (less)
The book is subtitled: Selected Haibun. I would not classify most of these writings as haibun. This book reminds me more of a journal or an author's n...moreThe book is subtitled: Selected Haibun. I would not classify most of these writings as haibun. This book reminds me more of a journal or an author's notes. The author raises questions about what makes a haiku. Unfortunately, his answers are not always satisfactory or complete. For example, he discusses rhyme in haiku and considers it okay because someone translated Japanese haiku and made them rhyme. Haiku should not rhyme. One of the most important aspects of haiku is the season word which Bremson never discusses.
In the book, the author introduces us to some of his haiku and he explains what inspired the haiku. I did find some of his inspiration interesting to read about.
For me the strongest and most interesting part of the book was when Bremson writes about his two wives, one of whom killed herself. I would have enjoyed reading a memoir of his marriages with senryu tucked between the paragraphs, but I will have to wait until that book is written.
Here are two of the haiku that I liked:
after the storm - from the wet grass evening fireflies rise
full moon tangled up in a spider web
Many of these poems I consider to be senryu. Here are a few I liked.
all those spring blossoms and she could not see a single reason to live
woman in a t-shirt — across her chest the words "rub here for good luck"(less)
This book is a reprint of the out of print book by the same title that was published by John Weatherhill, Inc in 1980. The new book has an additional...moreThis book is a reprint of the out of print book by the same title that was published by John Weatherhill, Inc in 1980. The new book has an additional 40 pages excerpted from the journals of Taneda. The quality of the print job is not as good as the original. The new publisher mispelled Taneda's name on the cover, but the haiku are fantastic.
I loved the book when I read it originally and I still find the haiku of Santoka Taneda to be some of the best modern haiku.
I would recommend this book to anyone interested in haiku and Zen.(less)