MELTDOWN メルトダウン (2013) An Anthology of Haiku, Z to A.
Edited by Stephen Henry Gill
Includes almost 500 haiku and a short 4-part seasonal renku cycle over 228 pages.
Cover by Richard Steiner.
Price:￥1,500; airmail $20, incl. p&p
Dimensions: 19 x 13 cm. Covers feature a tactile matt paper finish.
How to order: details are at the Hailstone Haiku Circle’s Publications page: http://hailhaiku.wordpress.com/publications/
I thought I might examine some gems from the latest Hailstone haiku anthology for clues as to haiku possibilities. What makes a haiku a haiku? Wherein lies the haiku’s charm? Why indeed, write haiku at all?
Haiku, we know, should be brief, and Japanese haiku conventionally (though not always) follow a 5-7-5 Japanese syllabic count. There are some masters of the haiku craft who stick to the 5-7-5 syllable count in English – and work wonders within those confines:
Ainu songs are sad:
like this deep blue crater lake
with fog cascading
(Nobuyuki Yuasa, Meltdown, pg 119)
Many people also think a haiku should be written in three lines, and this is often the case. But not always. There are those who throw both syllable and line counts aside, with brilliantly bold experiments.
Unspoken history dark clouds shroud the hunter’s moon
(Duro Jaiye, Ibid, pg 71)
the forest snow
no-one is here
(David McCullough, Ibid, pg 65) Continue reading