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Haiku Journal of the Irish Haiku Society

                 Haiku from Ireland and the rest of the world       

       16



Announcements




Shamrock Haiku Journal Readers' Choice Awards 


We invite all the readers of Shamrock Haiku Journal to vote for the best haiku/senryu poem published in 2010, i.e. in the issues THIRTEEN to SIXTEEN (you cannot vote for your own poem, though). To vote, send an e-mail to irishhaikusociety[at]hotmail.com with "Best haiku of 2010" or "Best senryu of 2010" in the subject line. Please insert the full text of the poem you vote for (only ONE poem in each category) plus the name of its author in the body of your e-mail. The deadline for vote is 28th February, 2011. The best poems will be named in the next issue of Shamrock Haiku Journal.






Focus on


Hungary




twilight shadows –

frozen, motionless…
broken trees on their knees


rime covering
the deer-dream dawn –
silence dripping from trees

-- Szilvia Auth




snail in the sun
crawling up and down
the tinder fungus

-- Károlyiné Baka Gyöngyi




sailboat
tied by a glittering
spider’s thread


chestnut petals
on the windshield…
a stowaway ladybird


-- Ferenc Bakos




black bough
embraced by a white slumber –
cherry blossoms

-- József Balogh




rusty chestnut –
the summer swinging
on the last leaf

-- Zoltán Csíkzsögödi Szabó




twilight stars
on a garden path, silvery
snail trails

-- János Csokits




sunny morning
bonsai tree on my desk
has tiny green leaves

-- Marcell Domonkos




empty eye socket –
the birdless autumn sky
staring at me

-- Csaba Fecske




dew
washing leaf ribs and
butterfly wings

-- Miklós Fucskó




blue tits nesting
in this pillar-box –
don’t drop a letter!


dewdrops rolling
on a young leaf –
morning toilet

-- Katalin Harcos




New Year day’s dawn –
among rimy branches,
the rising Sun

-- Ödön Horváth




summer evening
weaving a moonbeam blanket
for this garden

-- Béla Jánky




an arrow in the grove
showing the direction
to butterflies

-- János Kurszán Kántor

(first published in Shamrock No 3)




young tree
in a small pot
reaching out to the stars

-- János Karsai




yellow chrysanthemum
watching the full moon –
a pumpkin lamp laughing

-- András Ferenc Kovács




lonely night –
the last firefly
brightens its light

-- Vincze Lucskai




lemon moon
my teacup imbibes
the dark

-- Hajnalka Sánta




elegant sparrow
cleaning his attire
with the road dust

-- László Sárközi




empty promise –
summer rain tears hanging
on the rainbow arch

-- Klára Siklósi Horváth




uninhabited island
besieged by waves –
the music of mollusks

-- Sándor Szúnyogh




in the wood,
red leaves depicted
against the leaden sky

-- Attila Török




in the dusk,
an icy outgrowth on the eaves –
a ringing night ahead

-- József Utassy




the sun’s wine –
drunken reddish leaves lurch
towards the ground

-- László Valyon




tiny icy lace
hanging from the green leaves –
Christmas is here


outstretched fingers
stroke my face –
sycamore leaf


late autumn night
a wild dance of leaves
above the abyss


this heart-shaped island
already in bloom…
young love


birds singing,
the pear-tree flowering:
gulash soup on the simmer

-- Judith Vihar

(the last piece first published in Shamrock No 3)




two birds have flown away…
the rustling branch
straightens itself up

-- Sándor Weöres


(all haiku in the selection translated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





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Essays


Haiku Poetry in Hungary

 

by Prof. Judit Vihar

 

 

The influence of Japanese poetry, especially haiku, on Hungarian literature can be traced as far back as the end of the 19th century. Hungarian impressionist writers, who at that stage got acquainted with translations of haiku into English and French, were influenced by the economy and the exoticism of these poems, not to mention their rhythmical structure and melodiousness. As we can see, haiku, a genre of poetry that originated in the Far East, came to Hungary from the West. Hungarian poets who were fond of the works of Baudelaire, Verlaine and Rimbaud, started trying to adopt haiku, make them customary for Hungarian literature. As it happened, Hungarian haiku have gone through various stages of development and now we can speak of a specifically Hungarian way of writing these poems, which can account for both their form and content.

Among the Hungarian poets who tried to develop this form we have to mention Dezső Kosztolányi (1885-1936) who published a volume of Chinese and Japanese poetry in his translation. Later, he intrigued his readers with a sequence of tanka and haiku written under a somewhat Japanese-sounding pen-name, Horiguchi Niko. Unlike Japanese haiku, which are mora-based, the Hungarian model of haiku is based upon the alternation of short and long syllables. In Kosztolányi's translations, as well as in his original poetry, he disregarded the 5-7-5 structure; however he arranged his poems into four lines, instead of three. He even used end rhyme and gave a title to each piece. Despite all that, his poems sounded very much like genuine Japanese haiku. Kosztolányi was so popular in his times that his efforts made haiku widely known to our readers. 

Another outstanding poet of the period between the world wars was Miklós Radnóti (1909-1944). A tragic figure in Hungarian poetry, he was sent by the Nazis to a concentration camp and died there. Radnóti was a real virtuoso of verse. He also wrote very short haiku-like poem, which he, by the way, never called haiku.

Yet another prominent Hungarian poet, Béla Vihar (1908-1978), created not only the philosophical poetry he is better known for but also short haiku-like pieces. We should also mention Sándor Kányádi (b. 1929), not only an innovative haiku poet but also a notable literary translator. 

The popularity of haiku in Hungary was on the increase ever since the beginning of the 1980s. In the 1990's, the sudden, though long-awaited, introduction of freedom of speech in our society had a positive effect on our artists and literati, and encouraged them to try new things. Of course, many of our haiku writers are still influenced by classical Japanese haiku and mostly write according to the traditional saijiki, but there are some other poets, at least fifty of them, who are not afraid of experimenting in this genre. An anthology of 1,000 haiku by 282 Hungarian authors has been published in 2010.

In 2000, the Hungarian Haiku Club was founded using the framework of the Hungary-Japan Friendship Society. Many of its members are university students of Japanese, who try their luck at writing haiku, mostly in Hungarian, but occasionally in Japanese. Today, the Hungarian Haiku Club organizes periodical meetings in some picturesque locations, sometimes related to Japanese culture (e.g. in a Japanese garden or in a statue park). In 2010, the Hungary-Japan Friendship Society and the Hungarian Haiku Club co-organized a World Haiku Festival in Pécs, the cultural capital of European Union, which proved to be a great success.



Translated by the author and Anatoly Kudryavitsky

Judith Vihar is a haiku poet and the President of the  Hungary-Japan Friendship Society




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Yellow Flower



"Yellow Flowers" by Anonymous (Hungary)



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Haiku Poets' Last Line of Defence

 

by Anatoly Kudryavitsky


 

Copyright

 
You may have never thought of it but if you write a haiku you create a copyright to your poem. Here in Europe your right to be identified as the author of your text is protected by Directive 2004/48/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the enforcement of intellectual property rights
 (also known as "(IPR) Enforcement Directive" or "IPRED"). How does it apply to haiku poets?

 

Copyright Infringements

 
There were a few notorious breaches of copyright over the last few years. A certain UK resident copied haiku from a few Irish haiku sites and re-published them under his own name naively believing that they were not protected by the copyright legislation as they had initially been published outside his country. A certain Russian haiku site copied the contents of a few issues of Shamrock onto their pages; without permission, of course. In both cases it took some efforts to stop the copyright infringers.

 

Performing in public

 
The owner of a copyright work has the exclusive right to adapt or perform that work, which includes reading it in public. Reciting somebody else's work in public will therefore require permission. Actually, some authors are very cautious about allowing others to perform their works, and rightly so. So if anybody attempts to recite your poems at a public reading without your prior permission, as it recently happened in Belgium at the Ghent International Haiku Festival 2010, you should know that it is illegal. If somebody approaches you for permission, you may give your consent or not. Your no is a final no.

 

Translating Haiku

 
A translation is an adaptation, too, and will also require permission. However, despite some writers' belief that they hold the copyright to translations of their work into other languages no matter who made them, this isn't true. It is the translator who enjoys the copyright in his original expression embodied in the translation. Let us repeat it: the creator of a text owns the copyright to that text but the translator holds the copyright to his translation. The translation in itself attracts copyright in so far as the translator's skill and effort have gone into it.

 

Acknowledging Translators' Work

 
According to the European copyright law, the translator's name must always be stated in literary publications. In fact, even this basic rule is not always observed. The organirsers of the aforementioned Ghent Haiku Festival 2010 approached some of the future participants requesting that they translate a classical Flemish haiku by August Vermeylen into their languages. Our translations were later displayed on huge posters hanging around the city, as well as on the commemorative plaque displayed on one of the bridges. Translators' names... you guessed right: they were omitted.

 

Dealing with Publishers

 
This can be tricky. Of course, a professional translator won't put a pen to paper without signing a binding agreement with the publisher. This is the only safe way of doing it. You can trust a certain publisher who you think trustworthy but if you haven't signed an agreement be prepared for an unpleasant surprise, like seeing your name removed from under your translations.

 

How They do it in Slovenia

 
The Slovenian haiku poet Alenka Zorman e-mailed me a file that contained twenty-one poems by another Slovenian poet, Marko Hudnik, and also his attempts at translating his poems into English. Ms Zorman's request was to 'proof-read' these 21 self-translations, as they were about to be published in book-form. Having explained that neither proof-reader nor editor could save the poet's self-translations into English, as they were not up to a publishable standard, I offered to make my own translations, on condition that I would be credited as a co-translator. I mentioned that I only wanted to help and therefore won't be seeking any royalties. Ms. Zorman, the editor of the book, wrote to me accepting these terms, and so I made my own versions of Mr Hudnik's poems.

 
In a few months’ time I received a copy of the book. Surprise, surprise: Marko Hudnik was mentioned as the sole translator of his poems despite the fact that most of my translations were published as they were.
Just a few examples:

 

Marko Hudnik's self translations

My versions

Published versions marked 'translated by Marko Hudnik'

falling to the old West
the sun, on the east side
'nicht neues'

 

in the west, the drooping sun
in the east,
'nothing new'

 

in the west, the setting sun
in the east,
'nothing new'

 

howling no more
up to the moon
that village bitch

howling at the moon
no more
a village dog

 

howling at the moon
no more
a village dog

 

listening to
my steps, the forest's steps
through me

 

listening to my steps...
the forest passes
through me

 

listening to my steps...
the forest passes
through me

 

end of a chapter
mid the human tales
Silence of the Sea

 

end of a chapter –
between people's stories,
the silence of the sea

end of a chapter –
between people's stories,
the silence of the sea

 

close by the Hell
the first circle 
of Heavens

 

so close to the last circle                                             of Hell
the first
celestial sphere

 

so close to the last circle of Hell
the first
celestial sphere

 

 

 
I was mentioned in the book as a ‘haiku translation consultant’ (did I consult anybody?), which can’t mask the obvious: I was shamelessly robbed of my right to be acknowledged as at least a co-translator of these poems.

 
To be sure, I wrote to the editor, Ms. Zorman; to the publisher, Primoz Repar of Apokalipsa Publishing, and to the poet Marko Hudnik demanding explanation. The publisher, Mr. Repar, didn’t deign to answer. Ms Zorman, who gave me her word that I would be credited as a co-translator, replied by saying that “it was difficult to list the names of all the people (??) who co-translated the book”. Apparently, stripping one of the translators of his copyright wasn't too difficult for her. Mr Hudnik’s response was, “
I can’t say a single word on our subject.” In relation to Mr. Hudnik, I must confess that I can’t find a single word to describe such a loss of integrity in a poet. I have always been sure that any honest littérateur, if such a mistake had been made, would be the first to admit it… Am I too optimistic? I almost forgot to mention that I had translated both Ms. Zorman’s and Mr. Hudnik’s poems before, and my translations have been published in Shamrock No 12. Isn’t it amazing how some people take you for granted?

 

How to Deal with Copyright Infringers?

 
Lawyers recommend that in cases like this a copyright claim should be brought in by the party deprived of their copyright. I hereby lay a copyright claim to the twenty of my translations published in the Marko Hudnik’s book as the author’s self-translations (the number of poems in the final version of the book has been reduced). I am prepared to prove in any court of law that the copyright belongs to me as my
skill and effort have gone into the translated texts. In relation to some of the poems, e.g. the five poems quoted above, I could even have claimed the copyright as the sole translator, and it would have only been fair.

 

Advice for Translators of Haiku

 
You surely don’t demand a publishing agreement every time somebody asks you to translate a number of haiku. But if you don’t you take chances. We have already warned our readers about the perils of self-translation (see the editorial here: http://shamrockhaiku.webs.com/shamrockno5.htm). Now, a new danger.
Everybody can do a hudnik: the method is now known. First Google-translate your poems, then get a native English speaker to actually translate the literals into a good English and finally remove his name and publish his versions under yours. It is easy; as easy as robbing a passerby.

 
Of course, the readers can draw their own conclusions and give their own answer to the following questions: should we trust all of our haiku correspondents? Is Apokalipsa a rogue publisher? Can Google translations be regarded as your own translations? Can the author of literal translations completely rewritten by another translator claim the copyright to the resulting texts?

 

The Last Line of Defence

 
We sadly note that publishers and event organisers of all kinds less and less respect poets and often attempt to use them. Of all poets, haiku writers suffer most. It isn’t easy to imagine a poetry festival that lasts the whole week, in the course of which period the invited poets are not allowed to read from their works even once, nor can they say anything during the so-called workshops where the participants can only listen. However this is what actually happened in September 2010 at the Ghent International Haiku Festival where 32 widely recognised haiku poets from all over the world were well fed and well looked after but their voices were smothered by the squall of more or less melodious sounds produced by the local amateur musicians paraded in front of the poets for seven long days.

 
The fact of the matter is, if you turn your back on poetry it will turn your back on you. This is what arts administrators of all kinds have to bear in mind. Poets’ dignity and their moral right to be recognised as the authors of their works are their last line of defence. This is what we have to fight for – simply because we just can’t give it up. Unfortunately, these situations are not uncommon. “Pitfalls for poets are many and various
,” the author Victoria Strauss once said. Let’s make sure we know how to avoid them.






Haiku & Senryu 



migrating birds
a street kid counts his many

train fares home

 

 

wind in the eaves…
a distant violin
fills the gaps

 

 

through a whale’s jawbone
to bargain souvenirs…
autumn wind

 

 

windy creek –
each blade of spike rush

in its own circle

 

-- Lorin Ford (Australia)

 

 

 

winding its way
across the meadow
the horse’s muzzle

 

 

a gartersnake
in the waterwheel’s shade
the dust-lined creek

 

 

fallow deer fade into dusk the gathering rooks

 

 

flicking twigs from the high tide line winter pipit

 

-- John Barlow (England)

 

 

 

down the tiled facade
of a half-demolished pub
tepid rain

 

 

back and forth over
the road and its treetops
pairs of magpies

 

 

all the shovelers up-ending August dusk

 

-- Matthew Paul (England)

 

 

 

nature reserve
a frog's eyes
in the leaf litter

 

 

the waterweed's
thorny flower...
swimming hole

 

 

mid-afternoon
the water insects'
slow drift downstream

 

-- Leonie Bingham (Australia)

 

 

 

seaside centaury
sheltering from the west wind
a pied wagtail

 

 

harvest gathering
all around the wheat field
woodpigeons coo

 

 

sweeping autumn rain
on the low-tide beach
a figure digs for bait

 

 

countless rosehips
in October sunshine
one red admiral

 

-- Thomas Powell (Northern Ireland)

 

 

 

a grass snake
escaping into
my thought of it

 

 

sunlit street
and a shady one –
the busy bridge between

 

 

castle keep
ninety-nine steps
to the rising sun

 

 

through the window
of a ruined house,
September afterglow

 

-- Anatoly Kudryavitsky (Ireland)

{the last two haiku first published in Zilvervisje Glimt Anthology (Belgium)}

 

 

 

lost in thought
a breeze I can't feel
glows the embers

 

 

in the centre
of the merry-go-round
the fair-worker's scowl

 

 

despite
the black ties
the local accents

 

 

breaking up his song
the busker's
thanks

 

-- David Serjeant (England)

 

 

 

morning stillness
the beating of a bird’s wings
in the snow

 

 

sunrise after the storm
one golden apple left
on the bough

 

 

boat ride   laughter moves along

 

 

autumn breeze
willows paint the water
emerald green

 

-- Sharon Burrell (Ireland)

{the last two haiku first published in Zilvervisje Glimt Anthology (Belgium)}

 

 

 

scented air
a shell

without a snail

 

 

red dusk
the prison gate

opens shortly

 

-- Dietmar Tauchner (Austria)

 

 

 

bay horse entering
the clearing
entering the moon

 

 

morning rain
weeping under birch
a mare’s mane

 

-- Clare McCotter (Northern Ireland)

 

 

 

people pass by…
a dog
waiting for dog

 

 

old stud bull
looking for a weak spot
on the barbed wire fence

 

-- Ayaz Daryl Nielsen (USA)

 

 

 

in the water
under an old bridge
an old bicycle

 

 

harpsichord recital
I listen to
cracks in the walls

 

-- Owen Bullock (New Zealand)

 

 

 

autumn day
the toaster humming 
to nothing

 

 

honeycomb
honey and darkness stored
for the long winter

 

-- Noel Duffy (Ireland)

 

 

 

frogspawn
in a sun-dried pond –
speckled mud

 

 

cloud streaks
scarring the sky –
hounded wind howls

 

-- Tony Bailie (Ireland)

 

 

 

autumn wind
only papers along
the footpath

 

-- Dawn Bruce (Australia)

 

 

 

September moon          
russet leaves quiver
on the terraced slopes

 

-- Barbara A. Taylor (Australia)

 

 

 

coastal lagoon
a black swan glides     
between the reeds

 

-- Gavin Austin (Australia)

 

 

 

as we munch waffles
the roads of spider city
shimmer on the lawn

 

-- William Hart (USA)

 

 

 

cerulean sky
framed in the window
folded paper swan

 

-- Scott Owens (USA)

 

 

 

breaking
the broken branches
summer storm

 

-- Michael Morell (USA)

 

 

 

palomino sunset...
the inner life
of a lavender cactus

 

­-- Patrick Sweeney (USA/Japan)

 

 

 

street fiddler –
pigeons strut the cobbles
between tapping feet

 

-- Adelaide B. Shaw (USA)

 

 

 

winter silence –
sudden rustle of snow
sledding down the roof    

 

-- Craig Steele (USA)

 

 

 

the weight
of a peony…
summer rain

 

-- Nancy Nitrio (USA)

 

 

 

lemons floating –
lost in the forest,
last summer

 

-- Iain Maloney (Scotland/Japan)

 

 

 

spring thaw
morning sun drips
from icicles

 

-- Nika (Canada)

 

 

 

moonlit room
I wake up to the call
of a distant fox

 

­-- K. Ramesh (India)

 

 

 

in the rain forest,
the whistle of
a tree fall

 

-- Noel King (Ireland)

 

 

 

bush trees in bloom
flying fox sucks
the nectar

 

-- Maureen Purcell (Ireland)

 

 

 

gathering leaves –
curled up raindrops
splatter the deck

 

-- Maire Morrisey-Cummins (Ireland)

 

 

 

tree stump rings –
an LP with Vivaldi’s

'The Four Seasons'

 

-- L. Costa (Brazil)

 

 

 

midnight - 
a dog barks into
silence

 

-- Nana Fredua-Agyeman (Ghana)

 

 

 

noisy geese
crossing the lake
for greener grass

 

-- Johannes Bjerg (Denmark)





Translated Haiku



glimmer of silverside fish
in billowing water
a captured star

 

-- August Vermeylen (Belgium; transl. from the Flemish by Sharon Burrell)

 


 

silverside fish
through
rippling water –
a star caught

 

-- August Vermeylen (Belgium; transl. from the Flemish by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)

 

 

 

sightseeing…
my camera
viewing the world

 

 

blades of grass bending
listening to what the earth
has to say

 

-- Jeanine Hoedemakers (the Netherlands; transl. from the Dutch by Anatoly Kudryavitsky)





 

Prize-winning Haiku from the Irish Haiku Society Competition 2010

 

 

 

The Irish Haiku Society is proud to announce the results of the third IHS International Haiku Competition. This year we saw a further increase in the number of participating authors. 227 haiku by poets from eleven countries (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, England, USA, Australia, Canada, New ZealandPortugal and Romania) were submitted to this year’s competition in Category A. As for Category B open only for participants born or residing on the island of Ireland, we received 87 poems. Poets submitting their works in this category were expected to write about Ireland in the changing world and include reflections upon or references to "what it means to live in Ireland at the beginning of the 21st century". This year’s competition was adjudicated by Anatoly Kudryavitsky, and it was judged blindly. The following is the list of prize-winning and highly commended haiku in both categories.



 

Category A 

 

1st Prize

 Ernest J. Berry (New Zealand) receives the first prize of € 150 for the following haiku:

chill wind
the windowsill tomato
still warm

 

2nd Prize

The 2nd Prize of € 50 goes to John Barlow (UK) for the following haiku:

  new year's snow
the tracks of creatures
that went by in the night


3rd Prize

 
Catherine J. S. Lee (USA) receives the third prize of € 30 for the following haiku:

 mountain sunset
an eagle rides
the downslope wind


 
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Highly Commended Haiku

 
In alphabetical order:

 

Cathy Drinkwater Better (USA)

crossroads
the wind takes my hair
the other way

 

Scott Mason (USA)

new moon
the night watchman
goes unseen

 

Maire Morrissey-Cummins (Ireland)

in the chair
the cat curls up
in my warmth

 

Peter Newton (USA)

where the maple stood
a shroud
of sunlight

 

Roland Packer (Canada)

the things
we never did
undertow

 

Cynthia Rowe (Australia)

winter solstice
the barbed wire fence
furry with frost

 

 Eduard Tara (Romania)

Deireadh bliana -
tionlacann bád an abhainn
i dtreo na farraige

(year end
a boat accompanies
the river to the sea)


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Category B 

 

1st Prize

Clare McCotter (Co. Derry) receives the first prize of € 100 for the following haiku:

wakening
in a scullery of stars
the wino folds her home

  

2nd Prize

The 2nd Prize of € 30 goes to Cara Joy (Co. Kerry) for the following haiku:

 the small river flows
through the door of the valley
soon to be no more


3rd Prize

 Maire Morrissey-Cummins (Co. Wicklow) receives the third prize of € 20 for the following haiku:

on the motorway
abandoned cranes
among ghost estates


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Highly Commended Haiku


In alphabetical order:

 

Susan Flynn (Co. Dublin)

memorial flowers
tied to the ash in full leaf
bowing and sighing


Clare McCotter (Co. Derry)

forty seven
and no pension
all the starry heavens

 

Hugh O'Donnell (Dublin)

recession
more tree
less leaf

 

Aoife Stephens (Co. Kerry)

despite all reports
of bleak and woeful stories
the sun still rises




 Haibun

 

Macaroon pudding

 

by Marleen Hulst (the Netherlands)

 

 

Staying at my grandmothers for the weekend meant at least one meal with homemade macaroon pudding for dessert. She would prepare them in ceramic dishes and leave them waiting in her tiny kitchen, knowing I would be pleased to be the one to overturn them and get the shapes out in one piece.

On rare occasions she liked to vary, and pour the hot pudding onto a plate over a biscuit rusk. Before serving, a tablespoon of marmalade was put on top for a bit of extra taste. I remember wanting to ask her at a time like that why she had chosen not to use the cups, but the look on her face held me back.

Just like we had in the war, she would say, and eat quietly.

 

fresh snow
her footsteps
already gone

 




Book Review

Christmas City: A Haiku Sequence

By Helen Buckingham

Othername Press, 2010

16 pp.; ISBN 978-0-9521806-4-7

Available from Othername Press,

14 Rosebank, Rawtenstall

Rossendale BB4 7RD, England

Priced at Ł 1 (Ł 1.40 for mail order customers) USD 4.50,

Cheques payable to J.C. Hartley & not to Othername Press

 

 

Helen Buckingham was born in London and now lives in Bristol. She authored quite a few collections of her haiku, and has had a number of poems published in Shamrock. This time she has had a collection of her Christmas haiku out; it contains 28 texts, all previously published in haiku periodicals. The glossy white cover has an ink drawing by the author on it. This little book follows her critically acclaimed full-length haiku collection, Water on the Moon, published earlier this year.

In this particular collection, all the poems are centred on Christmas. As we all know, Zen Buddhism and Shinto were an integral part of traditional Japanese haiku. Since then, haiku poets rarely align themselves with any other religion, therefore Christianity and haiku is not a usual pairing. There were numerous more or less successful attempts to write Christian 5-7-5-ers, especially in Ireland, but texts of that kind are destined to remain outside the haiku genre. 

However we wouldn’t describe Helen Buckingham’s collection as a book of Christian poems. Christmas tree, if appeared there (surprisingly, it doesn’t), would rather be a kigo than an object of worship. Instead of a Christmas tree, we have a cactus in the following lovely piece:

 church cactus
observing
its own advent

 
The author herself is a keen observer, and the results are often amazing:

 
sunrise
the snowman’s
lopsided smile

 
The reader can ask himself
why we do what we do at Christmas time.

 
taxi stand
the man in a rabbit suit
fumbles for his watch

 
Pre-Christmas haste gives place to New Year’s idleness:

 
New Year’s fireworks –
waking again
with the dog

 
The author takes us on a short journey in Christmas-time England, and her poems form an interesting mosaic of snapshots.
Witnessing life at that time of the year most certainly was an indescribable feeling for the poet.

Many, if not all, haiku are poems describing our way of living. At the same time, they are a way of living, as R.H. Blyth stated in Haiku, Vol. 2. He went on to say the following: “Haiku offers itself to mankind, not as a substitute for Christianity or Buddhism, but as the fulfilment.” Of course, this is more about writing haiku, however reading them, e.g. going through this collection of Helen Buckingham’s poems, is also a very fulfilling thing to do.

Anatoly Kudryavitsky



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Doghouse Books


DOGHOUSE Books have a limited number of copies left of two collections of haiku poems by two Irish haijin:

John W Sexton. Shadows Bloom. DOGHOUSE Books. Reviewed here

Anatoly Kudryavitsky. Morning at Mount Ring. DOGHOUSE Books. Reviewed here

One can get them postage free for the price of €12 to anywhere in the world.

Also, check out here the range of poetry books and anthologies we've published.

DOGHOUSE Books
PO Box 312
Tralee
Co. Kerry
Ireland

Tel: +353 (0)66 7137547
Fax: +353 (0)66 7137547
info[at]doghousebooks.ie 





 
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